Managing Your Condition With Exercise
Get Motivated to Exercise
Need a reason to work out? Here are 7 to start
What if someone told you that a thinner, healthier, and longer life was
within your grasp? Sound too good to be true? According to a wealth of
research, exercise is the silver bullet for a better quality of life.
Not only does regular exercise aid in weight loss, it reduces your
risk for several chronic diseases and conditions. Finding activities that you
enjoy and that become part of your daily routine is the key to a long and
The list of health benefits is impressive, and the requirements are
relatively simple -- just do it.
Ward Off Disease
Research has confirmed that any amount of exercise, at any age, is
beneficial. And, in general, the more you do, the greater the benefits. The
National Academy of Sciences has recommended that everyone strive for a total
of an hour per day of physical activity. Sounds like a lot, but the hour can be
made up of several shorter bursts of activity (it can be walking, gardening,
even heavy housecleaning) done throughout the day.
Physical activity is an essential part of any weight-loss program, to
maximize your fat loss while keeping valuable muscle mass. But exercise has
many other health and longevity benefits. It can help prevent or improve these
1. Heart Disease. Regular activity
strengthens your heart muscle; lowers blood pressure; increases "good"
cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins or HDLs) and lowers "bad"
cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDLs); enhances blood flow; and helps
your heart function more efficiently. All of these benefits reduce the risk of
stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Researchers at Duke University suggest that the amount of physical activity,
rather than its intensity, has the biggest impact on improving blood lipids
(cholesterol). According to The New England Journal of Medicine, these
researchers also found that any exercise is better than none -- although more
2. Stroke. In an analysis of 23
studies, researchers found that being active reduces your risk of having and
dying from a stroke. According to a study published in the journal
Stroke, moderately active study participants had 20% less risk of
stroke than less active participants.
3. Type II Diabetes. This
disease is increasing at alarming rates -- by 62% since 1990 -- and 17 million
Americans now have it. Physical activity can enhance weight loss and help
prevent and/or control this condition. Losing weight can increase insulin
sensitivity, improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and reduce blood
pressure -- all of which are very important to the health of people with
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Frank Hu,
MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health found that a brisk walk for one hour
daily could reduce the risk of type II diabetes by 34%.