Exercise is important for both the mind and the body, and the benefits of exercise go way beyond just pure weight loss. It is especially important for women to remain active throughout the lifespan, and is best if an exercise routine is started earlier rather than later.
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Below lists top reasons to exercise daily:
Women are especially susceptible to weak bones and osteoporosis with increasing age. Even though the effects of weak bones are not generally seen until after menopause, how you take care of yourself as a young women has a direct effect on your bone health when you get older. Weight bearing exercise is crucial for keeping bones strong. This means exercise that uses gravity to do work, such as strength training, walking and jogging.
Exercise is the simplest way to boost your energy in just a matter of a few minutes. When you exercise, this increases hormones in your body that make you alert and focused. This is one of the top reasons I encourage exercise in the morning so that you can utilize the effects of exercise all day long.
Exercise is one of the best ways to increase HDL cholesterol, which is “good” cholesterol. We want to boost HDL cholesterol basically as high as possible because it helps the body to breakdown and get rid of bad cholesterol in the body. A high HDL cholesterol is considered heart protective, while a low HDL cholesterol is considered a top risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise utilizes gravity to help pull things down – in this case it helps to pull bowel movement down so that you can be relieved from constipation.
Another reason exercise decreases constipation is because exercise decreases stress hormones and stress is a contributor to upset stomach and constipation.
For the same reason exercise helps move bowels down to be eliminated, exercise also helps to remove gas buildup in the intestine.
Yoga may be especially helpful for bloating because of the twisting moves and abdominal exercises that will help to expel trapped gas.
The body is meant to move and be active, and moving it daily will help to get the body ready for sleep at night time.
Note that you should avoid vigorous exercise right before you want to go to sleep because exercise is stimulating and will cause you to be alert (as discussed above).
Lowers blood sugar
Exercise is the best natural way to lower blood sugar. The contraction of muscles during exercise allows the muscle cells to take up sugar from the blood to use for energy and to do work.
After you eat some carbs, make a point to take a walk after which will help to decrease the blood sugar response and funnel that sugar to your muscles.
Better use of insulin
Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas and its job is to take sugar from the blood and funnel it to muscle cells to do work, or to fat cells for storage. We want cells to be sensitive to insulin so that the least amount possible of insulin will be produced from the pancreas. If you are constantly eating carbohydrates and not exercising, this causes cells to be less sensitive to the effects of insulin, meaning more insulin is needed to do the same job. High insulin is a problem for a variety of reasons, including contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and hormone dysfunction. 1
Bottom line: If you love carbs, exercise needs to be part of your daily routine.
When a tight muscle is pushed beyond its short limit, this can cause injury and pain. Exercise prevents pain in muscles and joints because it increases flexibility, increases range of motion, and strengthens muscles around joints.
Exercise is the most effective way to boost mood quickly. Exercise causes chemical changes in the body that lead to the decrease of stress hormones and increase the feel good hormones.
If you know you are going to have a stressful day coming up, make a point to schedule in a workout that day to prevent feeling overwhelmed with anxiety.
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About the author: Sarah-Kate is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet.