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Think You Don’t Need Exercise? 7 Reasons To Rethink That Strategy!
Let’s face it. For some people, exercise is a joy but for most us….it’s a drag. Getting things ready to go to the gym, driving after work when you are already tired or, even worse, getting up early to hit the gym, is anything but fun.
So you walk into the gym where you see the same old machines, the same people, and think “What the heck am I doing here?” You yawn your way through three or four exercise machines, paying no attention to what you are doing and you start wondering what good this is doing for you anyway. You eat healthy. You keep a regular schedule. You have better things to do than sit in that gym for one more minute.
Before you know it, you are cutting your one hour sessions down to 30 minutes and your six-day a week routine gets cut back to five days … .then four .. And before you know it, you’ve thrown in the towel.
Exercise isn’t really that important, right?
Before you even realize it, you are on a downward spiral that includes the fast food drive-thru for lunch, you have no energy what so ever, and you wonder why you feel so sick and tired all the time.
If this sounds like you, what you really need is a wakeup call. When you understand just how much of your health is at stake without regular exercise, you will probably be sweating it out at the gym like never before.
Hopefully, this article is all the warning sign you need to get you up off your fat….sofa and get back to working out and reversing the damage that not exercising has done to your body.
1. You Are Aging Faster Than You Imagined Possible
Do you try to keep up with your twenty something kids and wish for your younger days? Do you look in the mirror and realize that your complexion will not stay 25 forever? Do you want to stop the effects of premature aging? Everyone wants to stop the hands of time at some point in their lives, and by not exercising, you are allowing stress to do severe damage to your body. Many experts call stress “the silent killer” and for good reason. A few of the consequences of stress:
- Hormone imbalance
- Sleep problems
- Increased heart rate
- Constricted blood vessels
- Cell damage
The last one, cell damage, has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain types of cancer. The more stress you can absorb or allow to bounce off of you will dictate how you age. One of the best remedies against stress and the signs of premature aging is exercise. Just 30 minutes of exercise can increase those feel good hormones like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. These hormones also help you to deal with stress.
One study from Princeton University found that exercise not only helps block stress, but it actually reorganizes the brain, allowing you to have a reduced response to stress.
Perhaps the fountain of youth isn’t a fountain at all, but nothing more than regular exercise.
2. You Are Getting Slower Everyday
You know that old saying, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste?” Do you find that you are not as sharp as you once were? That you no longer think outside the box? Is your creativity in the toilet? What are you doing to protect your brain?
Memory, problems solving, and critical thinking are all areas that can be easily compromised. Although it is true that a healthy diet and sleep are important to your brain, they aren’t everything. Want to know what exercise can do?
The Society for Neuroscience in Brazil found in one study that subjects who were put on a strength training program performed far better on tests regarding memory and learning than those who sat on their butts. In fact, the higher the workload that was placed on the body, the more flexible their brains became. Exercise keeps the neurons and nervous system sharp and on the mark when it comes to transmitting messages. A healthy and strong brain can help to fight off depression, make you feel happier, and make that workout session more enjoyable.
Think about it. While you still can.
3. You Worry About Cancer
Although no one can say for certain who will get cancer and who won’t, there is one thing that is certain: Exercise is one of the best preventative measures against all forms of cancer.
Regular exercise can change some of the biggest risk factors for cancer including:
- Insulin: Excessive amounts of insulin can lead to the overproduction of cells, which can turn cancerous. Exercise lowers insulin levels.
- Obesity – This is one of the biggest factors when it comes to cancer. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Estrogen – An excessive production of estrogen is responsible for many types of cancer, especially breast cancer. Exercise helps to balance hormones such as estrogen.
Getting regular exercise will also naturally improve your immune system and how it responds to inflammation. This can help your body naturally fight the development of cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research says that all you need is 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to fight back against cancer.
4. It Will Be Too Late To Stop Arthritis Pain
With about 21 million Americans suffering from arthritis, it is not unlikely to consider that you might be afflicted with this disease. Arthritis pain can practically immobilize you! Worse still, once it starts, there is not that much you can do about it.
The most common risk factors for developing arthritis are:
- Obesity – Being overweight puts much more stress on the joints, which wear out faster due to the extra stress
- Age – As we grow older, the risk of arthritis grows with us
- Gender – Although arthritis is more common in women than for men, men also suffer from it
- Work – Some jobs require regular heavy lifting or repetitive movements that cause injury or more wear and tear on the joints
The truth is, however, that arthritis can strike anyone at any time. The best way to avoid arthritis is to take preventative measures. Once the pain of arthritis strikes, it is difficult to get rid of it without extreme measures. Exercise is one of the best preventative measures around.
Exercise will strengthen the muscles, which support the joints. Of course, when we are young, we think of arthritis as an “old” person’s disease. Keep in mind that you are getting older every single day. Taking preventative measures, such as regular exercise and strength training, now will lower your risk of arthritis pain in the future.
5. Can You Get Up With One Hand?
In a very simple test that involved persons between the ages of 50 and 80; sit on the floor and then stand up with as little support as possible. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, when you are 20 it is easy, but later on in life, this becomes more difficult. This study found that those who needed to use two hands or a chair or other types of support were six times more likely to die young than those who only needed one hand or no support to get up off the floor.
As we age, we lose about a pound of muscle each year. This can make simple things, such as getting up off the floor, much harder. Regular weight bearing exercise keeps bones strong, joints supple, and muscles denser, which can make simple chores much easier.
This study was done at the Clinimex-Exercise Medicine Clinic in Brazil. It involved more than 2,000 men and women. Subjects were followed until the day they died or until the end of October of 2011. Over the period of this study, 159 subjects passed away. Survival was strongly linked to those who needed the least amount of help in getting up off the floor.
This study showed that those who maintained high levels of muscle strength, power to body weight ratio, and high levels of flexibility had a much better chance of living longer than those who did not.
6. You Fear Getting Alzheimer’s
When talking about brain function, hands down, the hippocampus is the most important component of the brain. It plays critical parts in the consolidation of information from first the short term memory then the transfer to long term memory, and spatial navigation.
The hippocampus is stimulated via exercise. In fact, this tiny part of the brain is one of the first areas that become affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s affects millions of people every year, but it is really not a normal part of the aging process.
Dutch researchers conducted a study which found that people who lived sedentary lifestyles, who were genetically prone to Alzheimer’s, were four times more likely to develop this type of dementia than those who carried the trait but exercised regularly.
Exercise stimulates even parts of the body you never imagined were involved in the process. Keep in mind that a disease affecting a large portion of the population is not something to shrug off. If you have ever met someone or had someone in your family suffer from this disease, you know how awful it truly is. And you can skip over the biggest risk factor simply by exercising. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
7. You Won’t Know How To Keep Your Heart Strong
What do you think is the No. 1 killer in America? Cancer? Alzheimer’s? Diabetes? Nope. Heart disease. Numerous studies show that heart disease is something that can be prevented and one of the best ways to do that is to exercise your heart regularly!
Researchers at the Appalachian State University found that blood vessels that widen in response to exercise increase the blood flow to the heart. Not only that, but it also leads to a longer-lasting drop in overall blood pressure levels after subjects had finished exercising. Hypertension is one of the main contributors to heart disease.
Now that you know that heart disease is the top killer in America, how could you not prevent it from striking you? Heart attacks rarely give people a second chance. One heart attack can steal you away from your family and friends. How will they feel, knowing you could have prevented your untimely death but didn’t?
Why take the risk and play around with this killer? Get up and zap heart disease into the next millennium by doing a few jumping jacks right now!
You only have one life to live. Even if you believe in reincarnation, you won’t be back in this time in this body ever again. Why not take care of it to the best of your ability?
Go back to the gym or some other type of regular exercise and this time … make it count!