I know, I know, you hear it all the time: exercise to lose weight. And it’s true, exercise does help with weight loss. But did you know that the calories that you burn during exercise, unless you are a professional athlete, actually make up a tiny portion of your total calories burned for the day? You see, what we eat has a much greater impact on our body weight. Think nutrient dense foods. CLICK HERE to learn more. So much for that ginormous hot fudge sundae that you were planning to scarf down and then run off! And if that’s the case, why bother to exercise? Because exercise gives you so much more bang for the buck than just burning a few calories. Here are three of its many benefits:
Puts the “heart” in your heart!
Regular exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes. And when you move that body, your heart muscle gets a workout too. This makes the heart become more efficient over time and allows your resting heart rate to decrease. Why is this great? Because a high resting heart rate is a risk factor for cardiac mortality. Regular physical activity helps to increase production of nitric oxide which is a key regulator of blood pressure. In addition to helping reduce blood pressure, this results in improved blood flow to skeletal muscles and the heart.
Boosts your brain power!
Want to feel good? Then get out there and move it! Exercise naturally elevates your mood and studies have shown to it be just as effective as anti-depressant drugs. Physical activity helps keep your brain sharp and has been consistently linked to cognitive abilities and mental alertness. In fact, in older adults, just regular walking was shown to decrease the risk of cognitive impairment. Fantastic! Strength training is amazing because it also produces brain boosting benefits.
Gives your whole body a tune up!
Exercise helps keep your bones strong, so it protects against osteoporosis. And it is associated with decreased risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Regular exercise also builds up the body’s antioxidant defenses, enhances sleep, and protects against chronic inflammation which is one of the precursors for illness in the body.
As you can see, there is so much to be gained when you move that body, so do something every day. And mix it up so you don’t get bored. You might take a brisk walk one day, do Pilates the next, and so on. Whatever you choose, just do it! Here’s to your good health!