Sunday, February 2, 2014

Monthly Topic #13: 10 Great New Reasons to get fit

Flat abs? Better biceps? That's just the beginning. Exercise is the best natural fix for life's problems according to the latest cutting-edge research.

~Image Source: Health Coach Lisa~

You'll stay younger, for much longer
Astonishing but true: new research shows that by lifting weights you can actually slow the rate at which your body ages. Researchers discovered that compared with a group of sedentary people, those who strength-trained three times a week had limited damage from free radicals, harmful molecules that have been implicated in the ageing process, heart disease and some cancers. "You don't have to be in the gym all day. In this study, participants did one set each of 12 exercises, such as leg presses and seated rowing, which took as little as 15 minutes," says a lead researcher.

You'll sleep better
Dreamy news for insomniacs: performing some cardio-vascular workout, such as walking or running, for about 30 minutes in the late afternoon will help you get peaceful zzz's at night, according to researchers at the Respiratory Sciences and Sleep Disorders Centre at the University of Arizona. Exercise, they found, ensures sounder shut-eye by upping oxygen consumption and raising body temperature y a few degrees. That's enough to lull even a night owl to sleep.

You'll be a quitter
Smokers who exercise are twice as likely to kick the habit as those who lounge about doing nothing, according to a study published in Archives Of Internal Medicine. Women who did 40 minutes of cardio exercises three times a week also gained half as much weight after quitting. The natural drug effect of exercise - its stress, mood and weight control abilities - helps maintain abstinence from smoking.

You'll have a healthier pregnancy
Consistent cardio exercise, such as jogging for three hours a week, may cut the odds of miscarriage by 40 percent, say researchers at Columbia University School in New York. While the reason is still unclear, regular exercise may help fend off hormonal changes, cutting the risk of uterine contractions, which cause miscarriages. Rigorous exercise also makes sense for expectant mothers because it limits the chance that you'll have a low-weight or premature baby or suffer from postpartum depression. Discuss your exercise plan with your doctor.

You'll hit 100
Workouts will give you some immediate payoffs - say, the right to eat another donut. But they also pay off in the long term, by influencing your longevity. The reason: shapeups help ward off dangerous cholesterol highs, strengthen arteries and can significantly slash your risk of stroke. The amazing stats: 30,000 men and women in Denmark who exercise at least five minutes a week were significantly less likely to die in the following 14 years than their couch-bound counterparts. The landmark study, conducted at the University of Copenhagen, also showed that women benefitted from doing physically demanding jobs - such as cleaning or nursing. These actually seemed to decrease the risk of early death by 10 percent.

You'll toss out those painkillers
Exercisers swear by a good sweat to ease pain from backaches, cramps and more. Now, new research shows that 25 minutes of biking (or any cardio workout) can dull pain, and that the effect can last up to 30 minutes post-work-out.

You'll think faster
What's the best way to be a quick thinker? A study from the University of Illinois showed that just 45 minutes of rapid walking, three days a week can speed up your ability to reason and make decisions. Why? While the brain accounts for only 2 percent of your body weight, it uses a huge 20 percent of the glucose and whopping 23 percent of all the oxygen you take into your body! Exercise improves circulation, and the obviously, the more efficiently your body delivers oxygen, the better nourished your brain cells will be.

You'll have hot sex
Don't bother with fancy chemical and mystical herbal sex aids. Studies show that exercise may help you to do it better. Why? A healthier physique can boost a woman's self-esteem, making her feel sexier. But exercise's benefits aren't purely psychological. Physical activity improves circulation and mediates stress hormones - so that your body feels better, even sexier.

You'll feel happier
A daily 30-minute walk or antidepressant medications - which is more effective at beating depression? Powerful news for sufferers: both work equally well to relieve short as well as long -term symptoms of depression, according to a study from Duke University in North Carolina. Symptoms of depression include sleeplessness, appetite loss and lack of energy. Exercise has a feel better effect because it boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins and gives people a greater sense of self-confidence. Lowering your pill bill might also bring on a smile.


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