EXERCISE AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "disease of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem, and can even augment an individual's sex appeal or body image, which is also found to be linked with higher levels of self-esteem.
The benefits of regular exercise
1. Helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. Try brisk walking 45 minutes 5 days a week.
2. Lowers the resting heart rate by allowing the heart to pump more blood per beat, which takes extra stress off the heart
when you are at rest.
3. May lower blood pressure both systolic and diastolic.
4. Improves the function of the immune system so it can better defend you from everything from the common cold to cancer.
5. Reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease in addition to the lipid reducing effects.
6. Increases insulin sensitivity of cells to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
7. Reduces the risk of developing both breast and colon cancer.
8. May reduce the frequency and severity of migraine and tension headaches.
9. May reduce the risk of having a stroke.
10. Increases muscular strength and overall stamina.
11. Improves the body’s ability to maximally uptake oxygen i.e. makes you more physically fit.
12. Protects bone density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
13. Reduces stress and anxiety improves self-esteem and confidence and lessens irritability and moodiness.
14. Allows you to focus on goal setting and helps you to fall asleep more quickly and achieve more restful sleep.
15. Boosts energy and improves concentration and job performance.
*Without exercise you will tend to lose muscle, which reduces your body’s ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight so you either “Use it or lose it.”
Types Of Exercise
Strength training is one of the oldest disciplines known to man. Every physical activity requires us to use our muscles and bones; therefore our entire skeletal structure depends on a strong physical frame. However we are now living sedentary lifestyles which mean that we do not have the strength and stamina for daily activities; strength training has this added benefit.
"Flexibility" is derived from the word "flex," which means to bend, like at the elbow or contract, like a muscle (get shorter in length). It is the joints ability to move through a full range of motion. Stretching is one o the best ways to improve your flexibility. There are times when we overwork our muscles during exercise, some physical activity or bad posture.
Cardiovascular is derived from two words, "cardio" which refers to the heart and vascular which refers to the "blood vessels". Cardiovascular exercise improves endurance and stamina by raising your heart rate and keeping it elevated for any given period of time (preferably 30 minutes or more). Generally cardiovascular exercise is associated with exercises like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging and stair climbing where there is a consistent flow with no breaks in the routine.
Scott McCredie learnt that our sense of balance begins to degrade in our 20s, unless we take steps to preserve or restore this delicate and critically important ability to maintain equilibrium. He believes that without a sense of balance, just about everything else in life can become an insurmountable obstacle.As we age there is a resulting steady decline in the three main sensory contributors to balance- vision, proprioceptors on the bottoms of the feet and the tiny hairs in the semicircular canals of the inner ear that relay gravity and motion information to the brain
What's Holding YOU BACK? (By Paige Waehner, About.com Guide)
What do you think about when you exercise? Are your thoughts positive (e.g., "Yeah Man, I feel good!") or negative (e.g., "I can't be bothered")? Noticing your thoughts is important when it comes to exercise because negative thoughts are often what stand between you and a consistent exercise program. You don't necessarily have to become a walking smile, but figuring out distorted thinking patterns can make exercising easier and, yes, even more fun.
Perfectionism - Also known as unrealistic expectations. If you berate yourself for losing only five pounds instead of ten, you may be guilty of this kind of distorted thinking. Why not give yourself credit for your successes? If you've started exercising, that alone is cause for celebration and, if you're seeing some results, that's even better. Everything you do that makes you healthier is a success. Focus on that and take some time to make sure your goal is realistic.
The Blame Game - Are you having trouble exercising because your gym is too far away? Or because the weather's bad? Blaming external factors makes it easier to avoid taking responsibility for your own choices. If you're not working out, it's up to you to figure out why you're not sticking to your program. Maybe you don't like going to a gym or maybe your workouts are too hard. Once you figure out the problem, you can take steps to rectify the situation. Explore your reasons for not exercising so you can change your approach.
I'm a Loser - Many of us equate self-worth with success. Losing weight means we're good, failing to lose weight means we're bad. If you feel like a failure all the time, it's almost inevitable that you will fail. Remember: what you look like is just one aspect of who you are. Learning to focus on who you are and not just what your body looks like takes practice. You can start by exploring your body image and learn ways to improve it.
I Have the Wrong Body - Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, "Why can't I look like that person?" "[y]our abilities are unique (as are those of every human being)...and cannot truly be compared to others (Matt Luebbers)." We all have a certain body shape and that shape may not conform to the current definition of "perfect." Instead of tearing yourself down, boost your own ego by focusing on your strengths and on the things you love about your body.
I Hate My Hip/Buns/Belly/Thighs - If you've ever looked in the mirror and picked apart every visible flaw with the precision of a brain surgeon, take a step back from the mirror and see yourself as a whole. We all have a body part we love to hate, but remember that your body allows you to walk, run, squat, and jump. That belly that seems to attract every calorie you eat serves to protect your spine when you move, sit or stand. Your body works as a whole, so try to appreciate all you can do in a day because of your thighs, hips, and belly (regardless of how they look).
The Antidote to Negative Self-Talk- It sounds simplistic, but beating negative thinking involves noticing your thoughts and changing them to something more positive. Try this activity recommended by Daniel R. Ball, in his article, "Cognitive Strategies:" Carry around a pocketful of paper clips. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, hook the paper clips together in a chain. As Mr. Ball states, "often clients become motivated to change because they are surprised at the length of the chain at the end of the day." At first, just noticing the negative thoughts may be difficult, they happen so fast. But, as you practice, you'll be able to feel them coming on and stop them before they take hold. Instead of thinking, "I'll never finish this workout," try, "All I have to do is try my best." You can even take out your paperclip chain and take one away for every good thought you have...at least until your office manager sends out an email asking who stole all the paperclips.
We all want to look and feel better, live longer and be a whole lot healthier. Well here is your chance to fulfill that dream and remember to include strength training, flexibility training and cardiovascular activities.
What Is BMI (Body Mass Index)?
BMI (body mass index) is a tool used to measure weight relative to height. While BMI does not measure body fat directly, it has been shown to correlate to measures of body fat and is considered an accurate alternative for body fat measurement.
With a simple test you can calculate your own BMI. Those with a BMI below 18.5 are considered underweight. Those with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered normal weight. Those with a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 are considered overweight. Those with a BMI of 30.0 and above are considered obese. In addition to BMI, those who have a waist size of more than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women, have a higher risk for obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.