I don’t know about you but there have been many times in my life when I’ve heard that word "exercise" and felt a bit ill. Sure, we all know that lack of activity is ‘bad’ for us and we know allllllllllllllllllllllllll about the benefits of exercise. But sometimes simply getting up off the couch seems just too tough.
So, if you, too, know that exercise and healthy living will not only lengthen your life, but also make it a lot more fun while you’re here, then relax. Because this isn’t about pumping iron at the gym three hours a day. Sure, you can do that if it’s fun to you, but it’s definitely not necessary. Gardening, housework, even walking out to the mailbox in the afternoon, all combat the dangers and miseries of inactivity.
Moving around and getting our blood flowing gives us more energy and stamina. If you get a bit of exercise, you will be less likely to get that afternoon slump and you will have more energy for evening activities. Instead of falling asleep in front of the TV with your hand in the popcorn, you might actually enjoy a brisk walk in the fresh night air, hard though that might be to believe right now. The thing about activity is that it feeds on itself – the more active you are (within reason, of course), the more you will WANT to move. The converse is true: inactivity promotes inactivity.
We all want to look great and activity will help anyone to be thinner, for more than one reason. First of all, it regulates your appetite. It will be easier to resist the first (and second?) piece of chocolate cake because we will already have a sense of well being.
Second, activity builds muscle and muscle burns many more calories than does fat.
Also, when our muscles are toned, they are longer and leaner. A 140 pound toned woman will definitely look much, much better than a 140 pound flabby woman.
Additionally, your posture will improve and you will stand more erect. This adds to a look of thinness which is easily proven. Stand in a mirror and slump. Turn sideways slumped. Then stand erect with your head held high. Now check out your appearance and note the difference. Besides, standing erect will make you feel better and even digest your food more easily.
Exercise calms the body and helps it to relax whereas with a good deal of inactivity our muscles will grow stiff and brittle. A relaxed body smooths out our mood and helps us to rest and sleep more easily.
In addition, relaxation helps to improve our disposition and reduce stress, tension and anxiety. Prove it to yourself: stand up and stiffen your body as much as possible. Hold yourself rigid, tense every muscle, draw your hands into tight fists – and then say quietly, "I’m happy". How does that feel? Now take a few minutes to relax yourself as totally as possible. Gently stretch your muscles, then sit down, adjusting your body to be as comfortable as possible. Take about two minutes to focus on your gentle breathing. Now say, "I’m worried". It you experiment with these two activities you will experientially grasp the link between physical and mental/emotional stress. Experience is always better than "head knowledge".
Activity produces white blood cells, which improve the strength of your immune system. This new strength will help you to fight off infection and other ailments or diseases.
Women especially need activity to build strong bones and avoid osteoporosis, although this is a concern for men as well. A walk, for instance, builds strength because every time your foot hits the pavement it is sending energy up through your bones, plus inducing the friction creates strength.
Older adults & exercise are a must so that blood will circulate more often, and more efficiently. This will enable all of us to remain flexible and maintain loose joints. We don’t want to find that lifting and carrying becomes a huge task – or even impossible.
Exercise stimulates the brain, as well as the rest of the body. This increased circulation improves memory, problem solving ability and other cognitive functions.
Regular activity helps to prevent a host of the most deadly diseases of our day like heart problems, high blood pressure, strokes, some cancers, diabetes and cholesterol.
Multiple books could, and have, been written on each one of these brief benefits of exercise. It’s 100% certain that exercise and healthy living can’t really exist without each other. Lack of exercise is definitely a factor in, or perhaps even a huge contributor to, modern disease and malaise. So stop reading your computer right now and head out on that door!!!