After my father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost twenty years ago I wanted to find out how I could avoid getting the same disease. I couldn’t fight some risk factors (age, family history or ethnicity) so I wanted to know what would make a difference.
Regular exercise along with a good diet was the number one recommendation. There are a lot more reasons to participate in regular exercise than warding off this one condition.
What is Regular Exercise? Although any exercise is better than none the recommended minimum amount of exercise for an adult is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Or at least that’s why my doctor told me!
Fortunately, it seems that it doesn’t matter if you do that 30 minutes all at once or split into 10 minute segments.
Benefits of Exercise
Here’s what you get for that 150 or more minutes a week of exercise.
1. Ward off Illness. Regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a large number of health conditions or problems. Regular exercise increases the “good cholesterol” known as high density lipoprotein in your blood and decreases triglycerides. It strengthens your heart and decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure.
Other health conditions that can be avoided or bettered with exercise include stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression, some cancers, arthritis and as I already mentioned type 2 diabetes.
2. Weight Control. Exercise can help with weight loss or maintenance especially when paired with a corresponding nutritional plan. By burning some of the calories ingested they don’t turn to fat. Plus your metabolism can get faster because the rate of energy use is increased.
3. Better Sleep. As long as you exercise more than four hours before bedtime you’ll have a deeper sleep and most likely fall asleep quicker.
4. Increase Energy. At first you may feel more tired when adding exercise to your routine but soon enough you’ll have extra energy throughout the day. This is because you build endurance, muscle strength and a more efficient cardiovascular system.
5. Good Mood. Exercise releases brain hormones that elevate mood. This is one reason it helps battle depression. You’ve heard of the endorphin high, right?
Regular exercise is something I’ll be working on this year for all the reasons listed above. Do you exercise regularly?
Note: This is part of the 31 days to better health series at Weight Chronicles. See previous articles here.