We’ve got some major issues here in the U.S. The worst part, these issues are hugely preventable, and cost little more than our precious time. I’m sure you’ve guess the issue I’m talking about is obesity, but it goes well beyond that. Our healthcare system is to have a “pill for every ill.” We are spending more on healthcare than any other country, yet we regularly rank lower than our counterparts. Our insurance coverage per person is higher, our workplace is slowed down by sickness, and our children are projected to die before their parents. How is it that our bodies begin to shut down at the causes of its own hand?
The issue is a terrible diet filled with fats and sugars, and sedentary lifestyle spent sitting. Gone are the days of hunting and not knowing when your next meal will come. Now we hunt in the aisles of grocery stores and expect at least 3 meals a day. Now, I’m not suggesting we return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. I’m simply suggesting that a little bit of exercise and a balanced diet goes a long way. Not only will you find a change in lifestyle is easier on the waistline, but often easier on the wallet too. Here are a few ways exercise can act as a preventative measure against sickness, and even some ways it can replace your medications!*
*NOTE: Here at ChiTown Trainer, we are not medical doctors or pharmacists. We would never suggest you stop taking your medications cold turkey. Rather, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about the health benefits of exercise, and how they can be used to help you. Remember, everyone’s body is unique. What works for one person won’t always work for the next. Always speak with your physician before any drastic health changes be made.
If there is one clear-cut benefit to physical activity and exercise, it’s the building of muscle tissue. This build-up of muscle helps prevent sarcopenia, or age related muscle loss. This in turn promotes health, natural movements and fosters independence. In the long term it also greatly boosts metabolism way more than cardio does. If you’re looking to improve health, it starts with muscle building.
Along with building muscle, exercise also improves flexibility. Feeling stiff in the mornings or sore in the evenings, even though you haven’t exercised? Having difficulty with simple movements like bending over or reaching for the top shelf? You, my friend, need to improve your flexibility. Not only does it make moving easier, but it also improves the efficiency of each movement. More importantly it also improves posture and body alignment. Right after muscle building, flexibility is a close second.
Exercise and diet not helping you reach your goals? Thinking of purchasing diet pills, or maybe undergoing an expensive weight loss surgery? Maybe it’s because you’re not working out “smart”. Stop yourself right there and make an appointment with one of our personal trainers. Why spend hard earned money on expensive diet products, or undergo a risky surgery when you can get better results for a fraction of the price! Exercise can help boost metabolism not only during your workout, but well after too! This “afterburn” is exactly what our workouts are built around. So save yourself the money and risk, and instead call us to help you reach those seemingly impossible goals.
Everyone knows how exercise can help build muscle and improve metabolism, but what about bone? Believe it or not, exercise is good for that too! As we exercise, our muscles pull on the bones their anchored to. This repeated pulling acts to strengthen bones by making them denser, and in turn makes them more resilient (I.E. less likely to break). This is extremely important for women over the age of 40, as they tend to lose bone mass along with muscles mass at a much faster rate. Don’t take risky medications or drink gallons of milk. Instead add in a little exercise!
We’ve learned that exercise boosts metabolism by giving us more muscle mass. Did you also know that exercise can improve how our body takes in, stores, and uses energy? This is especially important to people who are insulin resistant, or in other words have diabetes. Exercise improves how our body stores and uses glucose. It also helps our body produce and use insulin, the chief hormone for energy usage. Too little insulin and our blood sugar spikes (hyperglycemia). Too much insulin and our blood sugar drops (hypoglycemia). Regular exercise helps put us right in the middle. In some cases it can even end your insulin dependence!
Exercise makes our body more efficient at just about everything. So what’s one thing in our body that never stops working? Our heart!! Exercise conditions our heart to pump more efficiently with each beat by lowering our beat per minute, but also increasing the amount of blood with each pump. In doing so it makes our heart more resilient and durable. This often in turn leads to a reduction in heart medications. Costly pharmacy bills driving you crazy? Swap those pills for a daily walk. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel!
In addition to reducing our heart rate and increasing the blood per pump, exercise also extends beyond our hearts to the rest of our cardiovascular system. Our bodies literally lay down more arteries and veins (in the form of capillaries) for more blood flow. It also increases the durability of existing veins and arteries. In doing so exercise can help lower our bad cholesterol, increase our good cholesterol, and in some cases even eliminate the need for cholesterol medications. It even makes our liver better at eliminating those nasty triglycerides that also cause heart disease. Not a bad deal!
Believe it or not, exercise can even help reduce pain. As we’ve learned so far, exercise promotes blood flow throughout the body. This blood flow aids in the healing process, and is often accompanied by a reduction in pain. In addition to this increase in blood flow, exercise also promotes the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that produce a euphoric feeling. It also promotes the release of adrenaline, epinephrine, and dopamine.
One benefit many people overlook is how exercise can aid in digestion. Yes it is true that blood flow is diverted away from the digestive system during exercise. Despite this, exercise (both cardio and strength training) aids in peristalsis, the movement of food through the digestive system. It also helps our body draw more nutrients from our food, and transport those nutrients throughout the body.
Bottom line, exercise makes our bodies more efficient at just about everything. But it’s not just physiological changes that happen post exercise. Many are also psychological. We’ve already mentioned endorphins, those feel good chemicals from the brain that make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Many sport psychology reports claim this boost in mood leads to a reduction in depression, and in some cases may reduce or eliminate the need for psychosomatic drugs. Not only that, but exercise just plain makes you feel good about yourself! It boosts your self-esteem, promotes independence, and improves quality of life.
What are you waiting for? Get started with in home personal training and reach the goals you’ve always wanted!