Exercise Rules… but here are some benefits you may have never noticed!

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Fitness
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

If you’ve seen one of my posts before, you know how much I feel exercise is one of the key factors in living a healthy and fulfilling life. There are some rather obvious benefits like better heart health and stronger muscles, but there is so much more to it than that. There are so many other positive things that exercise does for you that don’t get their due. I aim to highlight some of those today.

Let’s start with your bones. Did you know your bones and joints change throughout the entire course of your lifetime? It is not uncommon for people eating diets that are relatively high in sodium to lose 2.5% of their skeleton each year. That’s 25% in one decade! Well, I’d advise you to cut back on salt and pick up on the exercise. Bones respond well to physical activity and reasonable amounts of stress.They will grow moderately in size and density when healthy levels of force are applied (Wolff’s Law). The USA leads the world in osteoporosis. Exercise can be one way to stay away from becoming part of that statistic.

Have one of “those nights” recently? While we don’t love that kind of thing here, exercise can help the toxins leave your system faster. Our body has something known as the lymphatic system which works hard to remove impurities from the body. When we sweat and move vigorously, this system activates and is kicked into high gear. There are scientists who view this benefit as an enormous one, but talking about lymph nodes doesn’t sell exercise videos, so it won’t be at the forefront of public knowledge.

Do you want a higher IQ? Apparently, exercise has a small positive effect on brain function. As we begin to work our bodies harder, the chemical serotonin is released. Couple this with the focus that is needed to get through each physical task, and you have greater mental clarity.

“Oh I don’t want to burn myself out with exercise!” This is BS! Your energy level will actually increase from regular workouts. When you have more stamina and lung capacity, you will be able to go about daily tasks with far greater ease. You will not be expending a high level of exertion just to get through your day. The result is more energy for all parts of your life.

Yoga anyone? There is a wide range of evidence that links lower stress to working out. You can escape from a rough day by concentrating on your life/technique and allow your brain some quiet time from the problems that might pop up in a given day/wk/yr. The are also helpful chemicals released into the brain to help ease our stressful mindset.

I don’t know how many of these you already knew, but I hope at least one of them was new to you. I’d love to see comments about these, and if anyone else wants to chime in with new facts for us. We are all in this together, and many minds are certainly better than my one!

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