Friday, February 21, 2014

Exercise: Begin Now & Keep Moving

Exercise: Begin Now & Keep Moving
Exercise is one of the four roots of optimum wellness, but too few of us treat exercise as important for health. How many tell themselves they are too old to start exercise—that's for young people. Well… tell that to Olga Kotelko, who, at 94, began exercising at the age of 77 and hasn't stopped. She is so into exercise that she competes in senior track and field events and has amassed a collection of 200 medals.

Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Along with diet, sleep and attitude it's a root to good health. Exercise contributes to being and staying healthy. So what motivates you to get out and exercise? For me, its knowing I feel so much better when I exercise.

My main source of exercise is running. I really don't like running, but I know its a quick way to get exercise with the most benefit. I currently run at a small lake about a mile from my house. The residents keep it interesting—copious Canada geese, a few mallard ducks and groups of coots are visited regularly by several swans, a couple of cranes and sometimes a bald eagle.

Benefits of Exercise
  1. Reduces your risk of disease such as cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes, even colds and flus. It prevents or manages high blood pressure and boosts good cholesterol (HDL) while reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.
  2. Improves your mood by stimulating brain chemicals such as endorphins that leave you more relaxed and happy. Endorphins are powerful natural stress and pain reducers. Had a bad day at work and your muscles ache? Nothing that a brisk bike ride wouldn't fix.
  3. Manages weight by burning calories. More importantly you build lean muscle mass that burns calories even at rest. Covert Bailey called it "being a better butter burner."
  4. Boosts you energy level. Exercise helps your entire cardiovascular system, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Your heart and lungs work more efficiently so you become less winded when you climb a flight of stairs.
  5. Promotes better sleep. If you struggle with not sleeping well, tossing and turning in the night, get some exercise and you'll sleep better. You'll get to sleep faster and sleep deeper when you exercise regularly. Caution: exercising too close to bedtime might cause disruption in going to sleep.
  6. Puts the spark back in your sex life.
    If you're feeling too out of shape for intimate activity or don't have the energy, regular exercise can change that. Feeling energized and looking better from regular exercise can have a positive effect on your sex life. It can also help elevate a women's libido and decrease the possibility of erectile dysfunction in men.
  7. It's fun! There are all sorts of fun physical activities. Like ballroom dancing, rock and wall climbing, belly dancing or basketball. Next time you take your kids or grandkids to the park, chase them around the jungle gym and push them on the swing. Keep it moving, no matter what you find to do. And make sure you exercise at least 30 minutes, three times per week.
There! Now that wasn't too bad, was it?

Check out tips on starting out when you don't like to exercise at the Summer Tomato.

What do you like to do for exercise? And how do you stay motivated to do it?