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exercise benefits

Closest Thing to Fountain of Youth?

Exercise may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life. Studies show just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that’s required to reap big benefits.

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors.
Here are 10 great benefits of regular exercise:

  1. Keeps you young. Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Aerobic exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.
  2. Reduces infections. Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds.
  3. Help to prevent heart attacks. Not only does exercise raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
  4. Protects men’s health. Pelvic exercises help prevent erectile dysfunction and possibly benign prostate enlargement, a common cause of urinary problems
  5. Helps for asthma. New evidence shows that upper-body and breathing exercises can reduce the need to use an inhaler in mild cases of asthma.
  6. Controls blood sugar. Exercise helps maintain a healthy blood-sugar level by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking can significantly cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  7. Protects against cancer. Exercise may reduce the risk of colon-cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level. It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels.
  8. Combats stress. Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.
  9. Provides relief for hot flashes. Increasing fitness by walking or practicing yoga enhances mood and reduces some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
  10. Prolongs life. Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.

Adapted from Consumers Reports.

The Agony of Defeat or Act of Wisdom

As much as I hate to admit it I have decided to not continue with my triathlon training. It appears as if my body is not made to run in any form or fashion. About a month ago I did too much too soon and ended up with the beginning of shin splints. This in turn led to starting to have problems with my ankles. It appears as if the shin splints are healing but I’m still having trouble with my ankles. I’ve tried a little jog here and there and it just isn’t happening as I can feel the shins screaming at me to stop. So…. where does that leave me with exercise.

I am not defeated and I do not feel bad about giving up. I gave the training 100% + and I feel great about what I was able to accomplish. So my back up plan is to get back to 1 – 2 days a week of yoga, some daily strength training, and at least a 30 minute walk every day. I will also incorporate a bike ride each week. I hope to throw in some swimming in the summer as I rediscovered my passion for swimming. I also hope to do some hiking and maybe kayaking with friends as well. Will keep you updated on all of this as it progresses.

What I would really like to point out is how important it is to listen to your body, honor yourself and accomplishments and don’t worry about competing with anyone. As humans we will keep pushing ourselves to either prove something to ourselves or to someone else. What or where does that leave us? A very hurt and/or broken body. In my practice I see the results of what happens when people push their bodies too far and don’t listen to them. They will end up with surgery, joint replacements, or chronic pain and often seek my services to help alleviate this pain and discomfort. It’s important to listen to our bodies and know when something isn’t working for us and find an alternative to that activity. It really isn’t the agony of defeat it is an act of wisdom.

I leave you with these questions is my form of exercise hurting my body and what can I do to continue my exercise that will not be as stressful to my body?

Plan to Get My Butt Moving!!!

Welcome to my blog!! Today I am sharing my plan to get my butt moving!! I have decided that this year is the year that I come up with a plan for daily activity, movement, or exercise. Whatever you choose to call it. To help with my plan I have joined the Tri-Girl Triathlon Training Team and am training to do a Sprint Triathlon in May. I chose this method for many reasons. The number one reason is training does not happen in a gym. So last week was my first official week of training and it went really well. It started out on Thursday with running at 6:00 am. I ran/walked around 2 3/4 miles. On Saturday it was the Brick, bike then run. I biked approximately 9.2 miles and then ran/walked around 1.3 miles. Sunday was an hour swim which was a bit of an eye opening experience. This week there was no run on Thursday due to me oversleeping and today I did the brick workout. However, I have done too much too fast and I have now injured my shins and need to nurse them back to health before starting out again. I’m limiting my next two weeks to the bike, swimming, and I will go to the gym and use the elliptical machine to keep my cardio activity up. I would like to share with you why I feel exercise is so important. Exercise is one of the seven limbs of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Exercise has many benefits besides the obvious of helping us to lose weight. Exercise helps to build the immune system and therefore helps to reduce the risk of infections and illnesses. Exercise helps to build the cardiovascular system through increasing our oxygen capacity, reducing cholesterol, and reducing arterial inflammation. Exercise that involves heavy impact such as running or walking also helps to increase bone density which is extremely important for women. Exercise also helps to stabilize blood sugar, helps to regulate hormones and most important of all helps us to build more brain cells. Do you exercise? How do you feel when you exercise? Please feel free to share your experience.

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