Exercise is a basic bodily need.
The human body is built for use, and without regular exercise, it will deteriorate. By denying yourself regular exercise you are functioning below your possible best, and so are denying yourself the chance of getting the most out of life.
An unfit body is only about 27% efficient in its exploitation of the energy available for use, but this low rate of efficiency can be raised to over 65% with regular exercise. Such increased efficiency will be appreciated in every area of life.
Your work and your leisure will become less tiring and more enjoyable as your capacity for activity increases. The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates an hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar! Everyday things becomes much easier to do.
Regular exercise greatly reduces the risk of heart disease and increases the strength, endurance and efficiency of the heart. By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack.
Exercise increases the ability of the respiratory system.
The nervous system also benefits, becoming more co-ordinated and responsive.
For some people alertness and absence of tension are related to improved fitness.
Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything that involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer's and senility.
Being a little fitter, also brings the following advantages:
You may take less time to recover from illness;
You may be able to withstand fatigue longer;
You will use less energy for any job; have a lower metabolic rate and are more likely to sleep well, look well and feel healthy and positive than a person who does not exercise.
Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident which empowers you in everything you do. You will find that the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life and you will be better able to make other necessary and desireable changes.
Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it by building bone tissue!
Estradiol and progesterone, two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production are lowered in the body by exercise.
A womans body is most susceptible to these hormones during the time between ovulation and menstruation. Habitual exercise can actually delay ovulation until later in the menstrual cycle. This reduces the time she must fight these hormones.
Fat has long been known to be a catalyst in the production of estrogen (estradiol). Regular exercise burns body fat and thus decreases the rate of estrogen production.
The production of Endorphins (Feel good hormones) is increased through exercise. Nothing improves mood and suppresses depression better than those endorphins.
The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, conflicts etc.) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. You'll sleep better too.
Does Exercise Affect Resting Metabolism?
Can you really boost calorie burning at rest?
by Chris Melby, Dr.P.H.
It is rare these days to pick up a health or fitness magazine from a grocery store shelf without our attention being drawn to an article proclaiming to have the latest information on the best way to exercise in order to boost metabolism. With the high risk for obesity in America, it would seem foolish to pass up reading an expose on newly discovered secrets about how to change our metabolism from a “warm glow” to a “raging fire.” Unfortunately, we are often exposed to considerable misinformation that can leave us frustrated when our implementation of these latest “secrets” falls short of all the metabolic benefits promised.
Components of Energy Expenditure Metabolism is a word that, for our purposes, describes the burning of calories necessary to supply the body with the energy it needs to function. There are three major ways we burn calories during the day:
• Resting metabolic rate (RMR),
• The thermic effect of food (TEF),
• Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE).
RMR is the number of calories we burn to maintain our vital body processes in a resting state. It is usually determined by measuring your body’s oxygen utilization (which is closely tied to calorie burning) while you lay or sit quietly in the early morning before breakfast after a restful night’s sleep. RMR typically accounts for about 65-75 percent of your total daily calorie expenditure.
The TEF results from eating food, and is the increase in energy expended above your RMR that results from digestion, absorption, and storage of the food you eat. It typically accounts for about 5-10 percent of the total calories you burn in a day.
The last component, PAEE, accounts for the remainder of your daily energy expenditure, and, as the name suggests, is the increase in our calorie burning above RMR resulting from any physical activity. Included in PAEE is the energy expended in exercise, the activities of daily living, and even fidgeting. PAEE can vary considerably depending on how much you move throughout the day. For example, your PAEE would be high on a day that you participate in several hours of vigorous sports competition or exercise, while the calories you burn in physical activity would be quite low the next day if you choose to rest and recover.
Your total daily energy expenditure is the sum of these three components — if it is less than your energy intake, you will store most of the surplus energy, especially as body fat. If it is more than your energy intake, you will burn some body stores of energy to provide the needed energy not available from your food.
Is My Metabolic Rate Elevated Following Exercise? Your calorie expenditure obviously increases above your resting rate when you exercise, with the magnitude of this increase dependent on how long and hard you exercise. One frequently asked question is “Do we continue to burn “extra” calories after we finish exercising?” In other words, does our energy expenditure remain elevated above RMR for a period of time after we stop the exercise, and if so, does it contribute significantly to our total energy expenditure on the day we exercise? Research has clearly shown that energy expenditure does not return to pre-exercise resting baseline levels immediately following exercise. The amount of this post-exercise elevation of energy expenditure depends primarily on how hard you exercise (i.e., intensity) and to a lesser degree on how long you exercise (i.e., duration).
Endurance Exercise: Exercise of the intensity and duration commonly performed by recreational exercisers (e.g., walking for 30- 60 minutes or jogging at a pace of 8-10 minutes per mile for 20-30 minutes) typically results in a return to baseline of energy expenditure well within the first hour of recovery. The post-exercise calorie bonus for this type of exercise probably accounts for only about 10-30 additional calories burned beyond the exercise bout itself. In athletes performing high intensity, long duration exercise, the post-exercise energy expenditure may remain elevated for a longer period and could contribute significantly to total daily calorie burning. Ironically, such athletes are typically less concerned about this “extra” calorie burning and its implications for body weight regulation than are the recreational exercisers. The average person who does considerably less strenuous exercise will likely experience little meaningful contribution of this post-exercise bonus to their total daily calorie expenditure.
© American College of Sports Medicine