Friday, 13 April 2012
Exercise Improves Health
Exercise is good for your health. An adequate amount of daily exercise can provide the following health benefits: greatly improves circulation; reduces blood pressure; lowers the amount of sugar (glucose) circulating in the body; helps reduce weight by lowering body fat.
All of the above benefits are inter-related. If you concentrate on improving circulation by engaging in daily exercise, all the other benefits will naturally follow as a consequence. Any of the following problems can indicate poor circulation: overall fatigue; brain fog; numbness in any limb; tingling sensations in toes or fingers; pain in the legs when walking; shortness of breath; and feeling cold without reason.
Good circulation benefits the entire body, including mental capability, hearing and vision. Poor circulation can result from a number of things, as follows: inflammation; plaque build-up, which causes a hardening of the arteries; fatty deposits; clots; hormone imbalances; peripheral artery disease; or chronic venous insufficiency. A sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, smoking and a poor diet can also have a negative impact on circulation.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can remain hidden in certain individuals to the extent that they don’t know they have it. PAD is a strong predictor of heart disease; it increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack 4-5 times. Without proper treatment, one third of those with PAD will die within five years, while others will lose limbs. These outcomes could be avoided if detected in time and treated.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) makes it difficult for veins in the legs to pump blood back to the heart. Blood clots and varicose veins are two common causes of CVI. The main symptoms are swelling in the lower legs or ankles, and pain when walking or soon after stopping. Obesity, inactive lifestyle or weak leg muscles can put a person at risk of developing CVI. It is important to see your doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms.
Moderate daily exercise can do wonders for your circulation and your body in general. You only need to engage in exercise for 30-45 minutes daily. This amount of time can be split into two or three lots, if necessary, to suit your daily schedule. A good time to exercise can be 30 minutes or so after having a meal.
The basic exercise that most of us engage in is walking. A brisk walk for 10-15 minutes duration after breakfast, lunch and dinner would suffice in this regard. Jogging, cycling, swimming or doing exercises in the gym also qualify as activities that exercise the muscles necessary to benefit the body. Whatever your circumstances, you need to get in30-45 minutes of daily exercise in order to reduce the risk of developing any of the life –threatening conditions mentioned above.
It is best to do the exercises outdoors if possible but this is not a requirement. Due to the vagaries of the British climate not always cooperating, I personally have developed an exercise called “indoor jogging “. This entails taking off my shoes, putting down a mat in a spare room, using the mat like a treadmill lifting myself a few inches off the floor each time, all while counting to 600 for one of my three daily sessions. Don’t use foul weather as an excuse for not exercising!
It is best to support your exercise routine with food that nourishes your body with the nutrients that it needs. Foods high in fibre, containing lean protein and with liberal amounts of vegetables are best for this purpose. Water is the best beverage to use in preference to the sugar-laden soft drinks (sodas).