A Little Exercise: Weight Loss is Just One of Many Benefits

Discussion in 'Useful info on weight loss' started by Kate, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Kate

    Kate Administrator
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    Regular low-intensity exercise confers important health benefits, both physical and emotional. On the physical side, exercise physiologists say it:
    • Helps control weight.
    In addition to burning extra calories while you're exercising, physical activity boosts "basal metabolic rate," the rate the body burns calories while at rest. When you're physically active, you continue to burn extra calories even after you stop exercising. "You may not lose 20 pounds taking leisurely strolls," says John Duncan, Ph.D., former associate director of the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, "but you'll be better able to maintain your current weight. With low-intensity exercise and a low-fat diet you'll probably lose a few pounds. And if you take long brisk walks and eat a low-fat diet, you'll lose more."
    • Improves love life.
    James White, Ph.D., a professor emeritus in the department of physical education at the University of California at San Diego and director of the human performance laboratory there, recruited 95 healthy but sedentary men, average age 47, into one of two exercise programs four days a week. One group engaged in low-intensity 60-minute walks. The other participated in an hour of aerobics. After nine months, both groups reported increased sexual desire and pleasure. The aerobics group registered greater gains, but the low-intensity exercisers also reported increased sexual desire and more orgasms.
    • Reduces risk of heart disease.
    Heart disease is the nation's leading cause of death. Low-intensity exercise helps prevent it by strengthening the heart, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and combatting obesity and diabetes.
    • Reduces risk of stroke.
    Stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death. (Cancer is number two.) High blood pressure is a key risk factor, and low-intensity exercise helps reduce it.
    • Helps preserve bone.
    Regular moderate weight-bearing exercise (walking, gardening, dancing, etc.) helps prevent bone-thinning osteoporosis, a major health problem for women over 50.
    • Builds strength, flexibility, and stamina.
    As you exercise, your muscles become stronger, your joints become more supple, and you can remain active longer without tiring. In other words, the more you exercise, the more you can exercise, the less taxing it feels, and the more likely you are to enjoy it and stick with it.
    • Improves recall.
    Do you ever have trouble remembering names? Kathleen Beckman Blomquist, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, tested fitness and name-recall in 66 adults aged 18 to 48. Those in the best shape had the best memories. Then she encouraged all the participants to increase their physical activity. After 12 weeks, those whose fitness improved showed enhanced ability to recall names.
    • Improves resistance to the common cold.
    Low-to-moderate-intensity exercise boosts the immune system, according to David Nieman, D.H.Sc., chair of the department of health science at Loma Linda University in Southern California. Dr. Nieman assigned 50 non-exercising women to one of two groups. Half continued their sedentary ways. Half took brisk walks for 45 minutes a day. After 15 weeks, the exercisers reported only half as many days with cold symptoms.
    • Helps people quit smoking.
    Exercise helps replace the nicotine high of smoking. Exercise also helps ex-smokers stay that way.
    • Improves sleep and minimizes insomnia.
    Exercise feels invigorating, but several hours later, it helps the body wind down to seep. Many sleep disorders experts recommend low-to-moderate-intensity exercise to improve sleep and treat insomnia. Just don't exercise shortly before bed, or you may wind up feeling more invigorated than sleepy.
    • Helps manage arthritis.
    Exercise moves the major joints through their full range of motion, which helps keep them pain-free. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body's own pain-relieving chemical.

    Modest exercise also produces significant emotional benefits:
    • Mood elevation.
    The endorphins released by exercise have an antidepressant effect. Many mental health professionals encourage exercise as a natural complement to other treatments for depression.
    • Greater self-confidence.
    Exercise provides feelings of accomplishment, which boost self-esteem.
    • Less stress and anxiety.
    People who exercise regularly say they feel better able to cope with stress and tension.
     
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  2. Archar

    Archar New Member
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    Hi Kate,
    Great post and agree with you as weight loss prevent from many major health disease and reduce the risk of premature death. Weight loss keeps you healthy and active and helps in breathing better. Weight loss reduce pain associated with arthritis, joint disease, and lower back pain also.
     
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