Why Exercise?

ExerciseAs a personal trainer, I’ve been asked this question many times.   Some of my clients have stated they don’t need to lose weight (true for some) and they feel fine (true, again), so why the need to exercise?  Well, hold on to your hat, because I’m going to explain the physiological benefits of exercise.

Exercise is not just for losing weight.  It’s for heart health, lung health, and mind health.  Exercise will help improve blood flow to the heart and make it stronger.  A stronger heart allows the heart to work harder with less exertion, thus creating a lower resting heart rate.  All of this helps to decrease the risks of heart disease.  Regular physical activity helps to maintain hormonal balance, regulates insulin levels, and delivers oxygen to the body.  Further, it will decrease cholesterol build-up in the blood and help stave off coronary artery disease.  Exercise also helps increase the amount of oxygen the lungs can process, which increases the amount of oxygen for the rest of the body.  All of the above increases metabolic rate and energy levels.  And because of the higher energy levels, your mental health will improve and your stress level will decrease.  You’ll have energy to have fun, play with the kids, walk the dogs, go to the gym, or just hang out and enjoy life.

And that is why you should exercise.

Timing is Everything

Timing is EverythingIt’s what I’ve said all along, eat your heavier meals earlier in the day and eat mostly veggies and a lean protein for your later meal.   Think about lightening carbohydrate intake at night. Get those carbs from your veggies at dinner, and if you need a snack before bedtime, make sure it’s a protein-only snack.  Some plain low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or a few nuts are some good examples.

The study from the International Journal of Obesity,
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ijo2012229a.html, shows that participants who ate earlier in the day lost significantly more weight than those who ate later in the day.

Again, I will stress that WHAT and HOW MUCH you’re eating is important.  Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.  Control your portions.  Make sure you know how much you’re eating.

And, move.  Exercise.  Walk, dance, play.  It’s important for your health and mind.