The Many Benefits of Regular Exercise

There's no question that exercise is important. The human body is designed to burn off calories through daily activity. A sedentary lifestyle works against the body's natural order. While everyone understands that exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle, few realize how exercise impacts the body. Even a small amount of exercise like walking 20 minutes a day can have a big impact on health.

Exercise is important for many reasons.

It Increases Longevity
A quick review of centenarians and those who live past a hundred years shows that they are consistently active. They work alongside their grandsons and granddaughters and often without the ills we associate with age.

It Bypasses the Need for Insulin
The muscles need the energy that comes from the carbohydrates in food. Those muscles get that energy directly from the bloodstream, bypassing the need for the body to produce insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. Exercise prevents the rapid rise of glucose that often occurs after a high carbohydrate meal.

It Increases HDL Levels and Lowers Triglycerides
High density lipoproteins is the good cholesterol that helps move LDL (low density lipoproteins) through the bloodstream and away from sticking to artery walls. A high carbohydrate meal requires the release of insulin which transports blood sugar to the liver which produces triglycerides that can be stored as fat and used for energy. The overweight man or woman has higher levels of triglycerides than a normal individual.

It Improves Circulation
Those who get little to no exercise have a greater risk of having hardened arteries. Blood cells coagulate together as they become sticky. Added to that comes the LDL that builds up on artery walls that eventually lead to future heart attacks or strokes. Exercise helps increase the elasticity of the artery walls and prevents the blood cells from becoming sticky. Nitric oxide is created through exercise and helps to relax blood vessels so blood can better circulate through the body.

Exercise Prevents Eye Problems
Blood vessels in the diabetic and those who suffer from heart disease are often constricted. The sensitive nerves in the eyes and the extremities of the body are the first to die off and result in blindness and the death of the nerves in the feet and hands. Exercise prevents the constriction of the small arteries.

Exercise Builds Muscle Tissue
Muscles that don't get used, atrophy. Exercise helps build up muscle function for better metabolism. Muscles that are in constant use have more energy requirements and that naturally leads to better glucose control and weight loss.

It Increases Mood
Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, the happy hormones. It's hard to feel depressed or anxious after a bout of exercise. It's an effective remedy for depression that often comes from an inactive lifestyle. The brain and the body need oxygen to function. Exercise increases the intake of oxygen that helps the body better deal with the viruses and diseases that attack the body every day.

Exercise is beneficial for so many reasons that there is no excuse for not getting on a program. The only need is the discipline to develop the routine. Along with a healthy diet, many of today's common diseases could become a thing of the past.