Yesterday I posted some apps that help us fit exercise in during our busy days. Today I want to list and briefly discuss why exercise is so important and specifically how it is beneficial outside of the obvious benefits such as improving heart rate and burning calories and fat.
According to Dr. Mercola, “One of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels by optimizing insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. This is perhaps the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease, and may explain why exercise is such a potent preventive medicine.” Whereas most of us think of exercise as important in weight control and weight loss the benefits extend to our daily health and longevity.
In chapter 10 of my book, Your Genes Do Not Determine The Size of Your Jeans, I quote a Harvard doc who says that if there is a magic bullet for all of the potential negative effects of aging, exercise is it. Here’s an interesting–and compelling–bit of data, also found on Dr. Mercola’s site today: “A recent meta-review conducted by researchers at Harvard and Stanford compared the effectiveness of exercise versus drug interventions on mortality outcomes for diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. After reviewing 305 randomized controlled trials, which included nearly 339,300 people, they found “no statistically detectable differences” between physical activity and medications for pre-diabetes and heart disease.” Don’t know about you but I’d much prefer to get out and move than take a pharmaceutical.
Other specific benefits include boosting brain chemicals including serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Exercise immediately helps the brain function and is proven to reduce depression.
The heart responds by pumping more oxygen rich blood to your muscles. New blood vessels are produced as well which lowers blood pressure. Joints and bones benefit from the pressure of body weight helping to keep them flexible and preventing osteoporosis.
As I said yesterday do whatever it takes to get some activity in to your day. Not only do we look better on the outside but it’s clear that all those parts we can’t see that keep us going in good health are the big beneficiaries.