Exercise for a healthy mind, body and spirit

Exercise for a healthy mind, body and spirit

You always hear people say, “You need to exercise regularly to maintain your health”, but just how much does exercise really do for your health overall?

Are the health benefits of exercise really worth the effort it takes to exercise regularly? Can’t you just eat better and still maintain your health just the same? Can anyone tell me what the real health benefits of exercise are or is it all just speculation based on heresy?

Accepting the idea that regular exercise can play an important role in reducing your risk of incurring a medical problem and reducing your overall health care costs is a critical step. While listing all of the medical problems and conditions that can be at least partially treated and controlled by exercise would be very extensive, here are a few of the most significant health concerns and the manner in which exercise is thought to help in each case.

Allergies: exercise is one of the body’s most efficient ways to control nasal congestion.

Angina: regular aerobic exercise dilates vessels, increasing blood flow, thereby improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the bloodstream.

Anxiety: exercise triggers the release of mood-altering chemicals in the brain.

Arthritis: by making the skeletal joints move, exercise induces the manufacture of synovial fluid and helps to distribute it over the cartilage and to force it to circulate throughout the joint space.

Back pain: exercise helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles.

Cholesterol: exercise will raise your HDL (the good cholesterol) in the blood and lower your LDL levels, the bad cholesterol.

Diabetes: exercise helps lower excess blood sugar levels and improves your circulation.

Heart disease: exercise, by lowering your body fat, lowering your LDL levels, decreasing your blood pressure, lowering your heart rate and increasing heart and lung efficiency, lowers your risk of heart problems.

Knee problems: exercise helps strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the knee making it more able to withstand stress.

Menstrual problems and PMS: exercise helps to control the hormonal imbalances often associated with PMS by increasing the release of beta-endorphins.

Osteoporosis: exercise promotes bone density, lowering the risk of suffering a bone fracture.

Overweight problems: exercise suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolic rate, burns fat and increases lean muscle mass.

So, are the benefits of regular exercise really worth the effort? Should you make exercise a part of your lifestyle? Absolutely! As you can see, in many ways, your life may depend on it.

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