Sunday, August 28, 2011

Need a reason to exercise?? I'll give you 101!!

People often ask me why I exercise.  They look at me and see a thin person. They automatically assume that I'm in good shape and can eat anything I want.  Well, I wish that were true!!  In 2007, I lost 65 pounds simply by changing my diet.  I kept most of that off until about a year ago, when I noticed that the weight was slowly creeping back.  Since I already try to maintain a healthy diet (with occasional splurges) the only other option to help keep the weight off was exercise.  I started with aerobics twice a week and almost immediately began to feel the effects, especially in regards to my stress level. I found that physical activity was a good outlet for stress and just helped with cope with the little things much easier.  So, why do I exercise??  I exercise because I enjoy it, to help maintain my current weight, to get my body in a little bit firmer shape, and for my mental well-being!!  Do you need a reason to exercise??  Here are 101 reasons:

101 Reasons to Exercise
Research overwhelmingly supports that regular exercise lowers the
risk for many diseases, and improves psychological well-being.
Unfortunately, fewer than 40 percent of Australians exercise
enough to experience significant health benefits.101 reasons exist
for you to exercise regularly. Exercise will...
1. Help you to more effectively manage stress.
2. Help you to lose weight - especially fat weight.
3. Improve the functioning of your immune system.
4. Reduce medical and healthcare expenses.
5. Reduce your risk of getting heart disease.
6. Increase your level of muscle strength.
7. Improve athletic performance.
8. Help relieve the pain of tension headaches - perhaps the most common
type of headache.
9. Allows you to consume greater quantities of food and still maintain caloric
10. Help you sleep easier and better.
11. Enhances sexual desire, performance, and satisfaction.
12. Reduce the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).
13. Increase the density and breaking strength of bones.
14. Improve your physical appearance.
15. Increase circulating levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
16. Assist in efforts to stop smoking.
17. Help you to relax.
18. Help improve short-term memory in older individuals.
19. Help to maintain weight loss - unlike dieting, alone.
20. Help relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy (backache,
heartburn, constipation, etc.).
21. Reduce your anxiety level.
22. Help control blood pressure in people with hypertension.
23. Protect against "creeping obesity" (the slow, but steady weight gain that
occurs as you age).
24. Reduce vulnerability to various cardiac dysrhythmias (abnormal heart
25. Improve the likelihood of survival from a myocardial infarction (heart
26. Help to overcome jet lag.
27. Slow the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis.
28. Lower your resting heart rate.
29. Help to boost creativity.
30. Reduce circulating levels of triglycerides.
31. Help the body resist upper respiratory tract infections.
32. Increase your anaerobic threshold, allowing you to work or exercise
longer at a higher level, before a significant amount of lactic acid builds up.
33. Help to preserve lean body tissue
34. Improve ability to recover from physical exertion.
35. Help speed recovery from chemotherapy treatments.
36. Increase ability to supply blood to the skin for cooling.
37. Increase the thickness of the cartilage in your joints.
38. Give you more energy to meet the demands of daily life, and provides you
with a reserve to meet the demands of unexpected emergencies.
39. Increase your level of muscle endurance.
40. Help prevent intestinal ulcers.
41. Increase the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons.
42. Improve posture.
43. Increase your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max-perhaps the best
measure of your physical working capacity).
44. Help you to maintain your resting metabolic rate.
45. Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
46. Increase your tissues' responsiveness to the actions of insulin (i.e.,
improves tissue sensitivity for insulin) helping to better control blood sugar,
particularly if you are a Type II diabetic.
47. Help to relieve constipation.
48. Expand blood plasma volume.
49. Reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
50. Help to combat substance abuse.
51. Help to alleviate depression.
52. Increase your ability to adapt to cold environments.
53. Help you maintain proper muscle balance.
54. Reduce the rate and severity of medical complications associated with
55. Help to alleviate certain menstrual symptoms.
56. Lower your heart rate response to sub maximal physical exertion.
57. Help to alleviate low-back pain.
58. Help to reduce the amount of insulin required to control blood sugar
levels in Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetics.
59. Improve mental alertness.
60. Improve respiratory muscle strength and muscle endurance - particularly
important for asthmatics.
61. Reduce your risk of having a stroke.
62. Help you to burn excess calories
63. Increase your cardiac reserve.
64. Improve coronary (heart) circulation.
65. Offset some of the negative side effects of certain antihypertensive drugs.
66. Increase your stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart pumps with
each beat).
67. Improve your self-esteem.
68. Reduce your susceptibility for coronary thrombosis (a clot in an artery that
supplies the heart with blood).
69. Reduce your risk of developing Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.
70. Reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
71. Improve mental cognition (a short-term effect only).
72. Maintain or improves joint flexibility.
73. Improve your glucose tolerance.
74. Reduce workdays missed due to illness.
75. Reduce the viscosity of your blood.
76. Enhance your muscles' abilities to extract oxygen from your blood.
77. Increase your productivity at work.
78. Reduce your likelihood of developing low-back problems.
79. Improve your balance and coordination.
80. Improve your body's ability to use fat for energy during physical activity.
81. Provide protection against injury.
82. Decrease (by 20 to 30 percent) the need for antihypertensive medication,
if you are hypertensive.
83. Improve your decision-making abilities.
84. Help reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause (hot
flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability) and decrease the long-term risks of
cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.
85. Help to relieve and prevent "migraine headache attacks."
86. Reduce the risk of endometriosis (a common cause of infertility).
87. Help to retard bone loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of
developing osteoporosis.
88. Help decrease your appetite (a short-term effect only).
89. Improve pain tolerance and mood if you suffer from osteoarthritis.
90. Help prevent and relieve the stresses that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
91. Make your heart a more efficient pump.
92. Help to decrease left ventricular hypertrophy (a thickening of the walls of
the left ventricle) in people with hypertension.
93. May be protective against the development of Alzheimer's disease.
94. Improve your mood.
95. Help to increase your overall health awareness.
96. Reduce the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
97. Help you to maintain an independent lifestyle.
98. Reduce the level of abdominal obesity - a significant health-risk factor.
99. Increase the diffusion capacity of the lungs, enhancing the exchange of
oxygen from your lungs to your blood.
100. Improve heat tolerance.
101. Improve your overall quality of life.
What medication can do all this without side effects? On average, each
inactive American spends approximately $330 more per year on healthcare
expenses than active individuals. The evidence is conclusive: Invest in
exercise. It offers countless health benefits at virtually no cost. Over time, as
your investment accrues, you'll have more money in your pocket, and you'll
be more physically and emotionally able to enjoy spending it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm back!!

I originally started this blog as a means to communicate w/ friends and family. However, due to Facebook, Skype, etc, I really haven't used this blog for it's intended purpose. I've pondered what to do about this situation and I decided that I would still use it as a means of communication w/ friends and family. But I thought it would be better utilized to talk to them about a topic which I have become very passionate--health and wellness.

A lot of you are already aware of my journey from 180 pounds to 120 pounds a few years ago. Well, last winter, a few of those pounds started to creep back on and I'm not about to go back there again! I already try hard to watch my diet, so the only other answer to get the weight back off was exercise. I started going to aerobics 2 days weekly and really enjoyed it. Then, I started to run! I was immediately hooked!! And as you all know, I've been running/working out pretty regularly.

I'll be sharing my journey with you all. We'll be discussing health, wellness, fitness, nutrition, tips, recipes, etc. We will also encourage and support each other or vent, if needed, as we all pursue our own "health trek".