I have been talking about how diet can be beneficial to your health, but I have yet to discuss the benefits of exercise. It would be down-right silly to leave out the health benefits of exercise, so this blog’s mission is to help get people motivated for the health benefits that exercise
Exercise is sometimes synonymous with weight loss, but I don’t want to talk about its weight loss effects. Sure it can help your lose weight, but that is not why I think that you should exercise. To me the health effects are much more significant, and weight loss just tends to be a side-effect.
Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing, and I don’t want anyone here to go through with it nor do I want their family members to go through with it. However, studies indicate that exercise could have benefits for overall health and cognitive function, particularly later in life. I had a previous blog that delved further in to this subject. It is not a guarantee that exercise will prevent it, but it is a method to be proactive with prevention. Another study indicates that aerobic exercise at a dose consistent with public health recommendations is an effective treatment for mild to moderate major depressive disorder.Nobel Prize winner Luis Ignarro found that the endothelial nitric oxide system helps dissolve plaque in the arteries. Exercise boosts this life-saving system, so it can really help your heart. This should be done as a preventative to keep yourself from having to take heart meds.
People with diabetes and pre-diabetes (centrally located fat distribution) should be happy to hear that A1c levels go down with consistent exercise. High A1c levels are an indicator of long-term blood sugar regulation problems. Another study indicates that strength training for a 16 week period cause blood sugar control that was comparable to medication. That means that you have a choice. If you don’t like taking medications for blood sugar regulation, then ask your doctor about then benefits of exercise.
Now that just a few of the many health reasons for exercising we have to explore how to do it effectively. One problem with exercise is that is becomes difficult to stay on a program. That means that people do it for a while, but stop after a period of time. Here are some tips to help keep you on the exercise kick:
-Make sure that you have a partner.
This way if you are not quite in the mood the partner can give some inspiration and help you get to the gym, and likewise you can help the partner if they don’t quite have the gumption. Just don’t fall into the path of convincing each other that today is not the day for exercise. Today is always the day for exercise.
-Make sure that you are having fun.
If you are enjoying yourself, then you are more likely to stay on a program. If you get bored with a program, then change it to something more entertaining.
-Make sure that you are going to a place that is convenient.
It can be the difference between going and not going if the place where you work out is not easy to access.
-Make yourself some goals
Sign up for a 5k: The local rotary club hosts the Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving! The Rotary also hosts the Jesse James Bike Tour! They are taking applications as this is being published! This gives you a goal to get into the shape needed to have a great time at an event. It will give you a sense of satisfaction.
-Get a great trainer
I have used Bronko Lemke at SNAP fitness in Northfield, a boy can I tell you that he is great! His knowledge of exercise and physical fitness is extremely extensive, and his motivation techniques are great! Also, Gretchen Falck of Forza has an amazing program with a group atmosphere.
-Other “odd” motivators
One thing that motivates me to stay exercising is an odd one. I feel like if I were to be stuck in a situation like a plane crash or other event that has me fending for myself in the wilderness I can really up my chances of survival if I am physically fit. Another reason that I stay fit is because I never want my physical abilities to be a hindrance for doing something fun. Perhaps I would not have climbed mountains in MT or done whitewater rafting if I was not in good enough shape. To me life is an adventure, and I want to be healthy for it. I never want to think; “No, I can’t do that. I am just not in good enough shape for that.” I want to say; “Yeah I am ready for any adventure that you can throw at me!”
Call to Action:
Use the information about the benefits of exercise to get motivated to help your health. Start with a goal and don’t make it about weight. You can obviously see the benefits once your program has been implemented, but some people get frustrated when the weight doesn’t melt off like butter. A lot of the time muscle mass is gained, and that makes it seem like you are not benefiting. Also, when people use weight loss as a motivator they tend to stop once they have hit their weight goals, but if the goal is something more profound like a healthy lifestyle, then it can become a lifestyle change benefiting the person for a longer period of time.
If you are one of those people who likes to take control of your health, and not be a passive bystander or you would like to become one, then try these methods of getting your exercise. Try to stay away from drugs and surgery by having fun with exercise. Remember that side-effects of drugs and surgery tend to be numerous and tend to be negative, but the side-effects of safe and consistent exercising tends to be beneficial!
If you would like more information about the health benefits of exercise call 507-645-8000.