With obesity rates on the rise in the United States, now more than ever, it is crucial to pursue and maintain a routine exercise program. Knowing not everyone will be the next Mr. or Ms. Universe is beside the point. The bottom line is everyone needs exercise, regardless of body type or overall fitness. Much like an engine, a well-tuned, healthy body is far more likely to last longer than one which is not kept in shape.
What not exercising does to you:
• Increases the risk of heart disease. Science tells us if the heart stops pumping blood to the body, the body dies. Exercising daily has proven to grow and strengthen your heart. The bigger and healthier the heart, the easier will be to continue working. Not only will it be able to continue working as it is supposed to, continued exercise will allow it to work more efficiently making you healthier in the process
• Decrease your blood vessels. Because you are pumping more blood with your stronger, healthier heart, your body in turn will require more oxygen and in the process, develop more capillaries in which to deliver the oxygen to your body. On the same vein, lack of exercise will reverse this process which could be detrimental to your overall health.
• Can lead to depression. Lack of exercise can make people stressed, fatigued and depressed. Exercising releases certain hormones in the body, which reduces anxiety and depression. Lack of exercise, however, can make a person depressed and fatigued.
• Decrease muscle mass which will lead to decreased metabolism. When you do not exercise your muscles will shrink. Because your body won’t need to fuel as much muscle mass, your overall metabolism will decrease. This will cause you to burn the food you do eat at a slower rate, as well as allow more of that food to be turned into fat instead of muscle.
• Lead to obesity. Among all effects of lack of exercise, obesity is primary. Obesity is a condition where high amount of fat is accumulated in the body, which in turn can lead to several other health problems.
• Lead to increased risks of other diseases as well. Lack of exercise leads to chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, increased risk of developing cancer and premature death.
• Limits your body’s ability to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals released by your body that interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain (i.e. – natural pain reducers). These endorphins also trigger a positive feeling within your body which is usually accompanied by increasing a positive and energizing outlook on life. The best part is unlike other drugs or medicines which can be harmful to your body overtime, endorphins are naturally created by your body and are good for you.
The great news is if you are not currently active in an exercise program, there are literally thousands of them out there designed for all walks of life, whether you are in excellent physical condition, or have not exercised in years. The key is to find a program that is right for you and sticking with it.
Tips for developing an effective exercise program:
- Take it slowly at first. Don’t start out at a furious pace like the Terminator. Give your body time to adapt to the new routine.
- The recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise does not have to be completed all at once. Three 10-minute sessions would be wonderful. Six 5-minute periods would be excellent. Heck, you can even go crazy with one 10-minute session, two 7.5-minute sessions – and a fiver! It doesn’t matter as long as the cumulative amount adds up.
- Combine strength training with gentle stretching movements to increase your muscular mass while simultaneously enhancing your flexibility.
- Vary your exercise routine on a daily or weekly basis. A lack of variety breeds boredom – and boredom breeds inactivity. Mix it up!
- Get your mind in to your workouts will boast motivation to exercise. Don’t sit around all day dreading your exercise. When it’s time to do it, do it well! Enjoy the fact that you are giving conscious time and effort to increasing your longevity and overall well-being.
The most important thing is that you start exercising today.