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What You Can Expect by Increasing Your Physical Activity!

Aug 29, 2006

Physical Activity effects every cell in your body. Every day we do hear about the health benefits to engaging in a regular exercise program. And being active is in our genes going back to prehistoric man who hunted for his food (he definitely didn’t use a remote control or a phone for food delivery!). So, what are the benefits?

Increasing physical activity improves our everyday quality of life by increasing our muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Some forms of exercise will increase our bone density and all of these will lessen our chance of injury. As we strengthen our musculoskeletal system, we will function better in our daily lives, have more energy and look better to boot.

Strengthen our cardiovascular system including our heart (our heart is a muscle). It will help to maintain the elasticity of our blood vessels, help to lower our blood pressure, lower our heart rate, raise our HDL levels (that’s the good cholesterol found in our blood), increase our circulation and delivery of oxygen to our body and brain (this enhances our musculoskeletal system’s daily functioning, not to mention lowering our cardiovascular disease risk).

Improve our digestion, elimination, and improve our body’s usage of body fat stores as a source of fuel for energy (isn’t this an important one?).

Aid our weight management efforts for the long haul (isn’t it important to keep the pounds off after we lose them?). Lower our risk of diabetes and help us to utilize all those sugars we eat (the ones we’re trying to avoid?). It will also strengthen our immune system by increasing the production of immune cells.

Help to improve our mental and emotional processes. When we naturally increase our circulation, energy levels, daily functioning, and overall health, we improve our ability to think. We provide ourselves with a healthy stress coping tool. We can improve our sleep and naturally improve our mood too. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as some medications to relieve mild depression; it’s free and as long as we exercise safely, it’s without negative side effects. Lastly according to one source, for every hour we exercise, there is a two hour increase added to our life (one reason is that a stronger heart doesn’t work as hard and doesn’t have to produce as many heart beats over a lifetime!). This is a great example of anti-aging.
A regular exercise program can help us to prevent disease but it can also give us a head start as we fight disease if we need to, by our having a healthier and stronger body state as a baseline.

So how can we go wrong starting and maintaining a regular exercise program as part of taking care of our health? If exercise was a prescription, it would be the most widely prescribed medication.

CBS News

Learn about the new Steps-To-Health Program. A program like no other. It will motivate your patients to increasing their physical activity while they are having fun. http://www.steps-to-health.org/


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