As some of you may know, I like to drink and brew my own beer. But before you get your hopes up, today’s post has nothing to do with that! Instead, I wanted to talk about what benefits exercise can bring you besides looking good naked. Because the cost of getting and maintaining 6 pack abs can be daunting for, well, everyone, I thought it would be a good idea to broaden the scope a bit. Many people get fixated on the minutia of exercise and fitness training. I often hear things like “I want Michelle Obama arms” or “Carrie Underwood legs” or my favorite “I just want to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.” To achieve these looks, one would have to pick their parents wisely. You can’t change your genes people! So lets take a look at what great things exercise can do for all of us.
Nearly half of the U.S. population is taking at least 1 prescribed drug each year. And unless they’re looking to kick that nasty breathing habit, most people should keep taking them. But wouldn’t it be nice to not be dependent on a pharmaceutical agent to stay healthy/alive? Well the good news is that the 3 most common medications are Analgesics (pain management), Antihyperlipidemic agents (cholesterol management), and Antidepressants. And guess what exercise is great at doing?
Pain In The…
Millions of people deal with chronic pain. From the ever common low back pain, to osteoarthritis (OA), to more severe symptoms of fibromyalgia. For most people, the only option given is to take a drug of some sort. However, research shows that people who exercise and stay flexible manage their pain much better than those who don’t. This is because it takes less pain to make you feel more uncomfortable for those who suffer from chronic pain. Luckily, exercise for cardiovascular endurance, strengthening, and flexibility, can help improve this pain threshold. So check out these links if you or a loved one suffers from lower back pain (yoga, yoga, desk job, tips, exercises), OA (tips, tips,exercises), or fibromyalgia for helpful exercises and tips.
LDL On The Down Low
Without getting too technical, exercise is excellent for raising the cardio-protective HDL’s in your blood. This “good” cholesterol is what you get from exercising at least 5 hours per week. Click here and here for more information.
Exercising makes us Happy! So to smile more you should exercise more. Here’s a glimpse at how it works. Exercise = the brain recognizes this as stress. This causes the brain to think you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it (the good old fight of flight mechanism). As a result, our brain releases protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and endorphins which together minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain, and create a feeling of euphoria.
Zombies Love A Fit Brain & More!
The brain not only reacts to exercise, but benefits from it too! So here is a list of other great benefits to the body and brain that are derived from exercise.
– A decrease in Oxidative Stress which may damage DNA and essential lipids within the brain that triggers neuronal death if not controlled.
– Decrease Inflammatory Agents accumulate in the brain which can destroy neurons and inhibit neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) if left unchecked.
– Balance Hormones like estrogen, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that collectively help preserve cognitive ability but decrease with aging.
– Reduce the risk of Hypertension (chronically-elevated blood pressure).
– Control or even reverse Diabetes and Insulin-Resistance which is an inability to utilize glucose that linked to lower levels of neuronal growth factors, decreased brain volume, and higher incidence of dementia.
– Reduce Stress and Cortisol levels which can help with sleep and overall happiness.
– Makes us more productive at work!
– Improve Bone Density