The human body is designed for activity. The coach potato lifestyle of the vast majority of our society during the last century has been an unnatural phenomenon. |
Physical activity was a regular feature of our ancestors. However, due to the change in lifestyle from agriculturalists to an industrialized and sedentary lifestyle, there has been a corresponding shift in our physical make up.
The benefits of physical activity in order to improve our body's functioning and composition can't be underestimated. Regular physical exercise results in the following beneficial effects:
1. It elevates your metabolism,which means: you burn more calories and more body fat. As a result, you slow down the natural physical decline that normally starts to occur around the age of 30.
2. It increases your aerobic capacity, your fitness level, and muscular endurance. This will enable you to have more energy and enthusiasm during the day. You will also achieve more because your body is more 'fatigue-resistant'.
3. It maintains, tones, and strengthens your muscles. This prevents muscle atrophy (wasting), which is considered a typical part of aging. Not only does a strong, toned body look great but it also gives you greater confidence and makes daily physical tasks easier and improves your health.
4. It reduces heart disease risk. As little as one hour of walking each week can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. The more vigorous the exercises, the smaller the change of heart disease risk. It reduces blood pressure by promoting the production of prostacyclin and nitric oxide.
5. It reduces diabetes risk. Exercise promotes the uptake of glucose by body cells as well as increases the sensitivity of cell receptors to insulin. This means the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is reduced. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, exercise is a great way to control the symptoms and lower the risk of developing serious complications.
6. It improves mental health. You hear people often say that exercise makes them feel good and there is evidence to suggest that it may even fight clinical depression better than drugs. It has this effect by increasing the production of natural opiates in the body (these are endorphins - the 'feel good hormones).
7. It Slows down some effects of aging. People are constantly searching for the 'fountain of youth', and now there is strong evidence to suggest that exercise is part of the answer.
8. It increases the level of HDL ( high-density lipoprotein), 'the good cholesterol'. Regular exercise increases the level of HDL in the bloodstream, particularly if combined with a sound nutritional plan.
9. It reduces the risk of death from leading causes. There is an inverse correlation between physical fitness and premature death from leading causes. Finnish researchers reported that poor physical fitness is as serious a risk factor as other well-known causes, such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
10. It increases heart efficiency and lowers the heart rate. Exercise increases stroke volume ( the amount of blood pumped by the heart each beat), making it easier for the heart to send oxygen and nutrients around the body. This is why people who are fit have a low resting heart rate.
11. It reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis. It appears that weight-bearing exercise is far more important than calcium intake when it comes to reducing osteoporosis risk. Since weight-bearing exercise places stress on bones, it forces them to adapt by increasing their density.
12. It reduces the risk of developing many forms of cancer. Exercise has been shown in a number of studies to reduce the risk of developing a variety of cancers.
13. It reduces the pain associated with pregnancy. Pain is often due to additional stress on the muscles and joints of the body weight gain and redistribution. A well-designed exercise program may reduce these symptoms.
14. It reduces ulcer risk. Ulcers are often caused by infection with H.pylori bacreria (which dwell in the intestines of half the world's population), resulting from stress and poor eating habits. Exercise may reduce ulcer risk by helping the body deal with the tress more effectivily, reducing the production of stomach acid and enhancing immune system function.
15. INcreases the number of red blood cells and their oxygen-carrying capacity. Exercise causes the body to increase red blood cell numbers as well as haemoglobin concentrations (haemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen). This makes the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the body cells much easier.
16. It increases the production of new blood vessels in the heart and other muscles. Any stress placed on the body forces it to respond and adapt. Physical stress from resistance training forces the muscles and bones to become thicker and stronger, whylst physical stress from aerobic exercise forces the heart and lungs ( the cardiorespiratiry system), to become more efficient and to increase in volume.
17. It improves sleep patterns. People who exercise regularly sleep more soundly and restfully.
18. It increases cartilage thickness. Exercise increases the mobility of joints. This has a protective effect on the joints by increasing the production of cartilage cells and thereby reducing arthritic pain.
19. It increases blood flow to the skin. This not only makes the skin look and feel healthier but improves circulation as well. This is certainly beneficial for diabetics, because they tend to have very poor circulation.
20. It increases alertness. Whenever exercise is performed, hormones called catecholamines are produced by the body. Catecholamines assist fat loss and stimulate the central nervous system, helping to keep you more alert.
21. It improves pasture. Weight training improves pasture by strengthening the muscles of the torso, particularly the muscles involved in stabilising the spine.
22. It improves immune system functioning. Weight training enhances the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells in the body.
23. It gives relief from mental stress. The catecholamines produced from mental stress( they are produced in response to both physical and mental stress), are burned up during muscle contractions.
24. It reduces lower back pain and the risk of lower back injury. This is achieved by increasing abdominal and lower back muscle strength, increasing hamstring flexibility and also lower back muscle flexibility.
25. It maintains good overall function of the body. Regular physical activity maintains healthy functioning and structure of the body.
Resource Box Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management when he was working with a nutritional supplement manufacturer. He wrote sever articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine articles.com. He enjoys helping people solve their problems. Get his free report about nutrition by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net
Short Description The human body is designed for activity. The benefits of physical activity in order to improve our body's functioning and composition can't be underestimated. Regular physical exercise results in a number of health benefits: It elevates your metabolism, it increases your aerobic capacity, fitness level and muscular endurance, it reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, improves mental health and slows down the aging process.
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