Exercise for the Ages

Feel better, have more energy, feel younger. Exercise.

The gains, physical and mental, are the best evidence as to why exercise is pertinent in daily life. Unfortunately, for some people physical limitations deter them from attempting any physical activity at all, or embarrassment in a gym environment keeps them at home. It is important to remember that everyone benefits from exercise, no matter the intensity or type. Any form of physical activity is better than none at all. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym. Instead of parking close to the office, park at the back of the lot, take the stairs versus the elevator, even hit the chores a little bit harder at home. There are many avenues to exercise, sometimes it is better to think out of the box.

Exercise can help prevent weight gain or help maintain weight loss. Intensity and type do play a role in the outcome of exercise, meaning the higher intensity, the more calories expended during a bout of exercise. It’s as simple as that.

Age bolsters a lot of poor health implications, and living in an obesity dominant society doesn’t help either. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is the number one form of heart disease across the world. With the high fat diets being consumed, arteries are being clogged with plaque at a rapid rate. Exercise increases blood flow, attacking the plaque build up in the arteries, which with continued practice will decrease blood pressure. Another major disease that people face with age is Type 2 Diabetes. This disease is literally a world wide health crisis. Obviously, an improved diet will aid in the body’s defenses against contracting Type 2 Diabetes, but exercise will help as well. Exercise increase the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, the key to this disease. With continued exercise rituals, these disease should remain at bay.

Regular exercise is also guaranteed to improve energy and mood. Positive endorphins are a very real thing and with a regular exercise regime endorphins will also continue to flow. It is proven that people who regularly participate in exercise have lower rates of depression and anxiety. Culture today is quick to prescribe a pill for practically anything that feels out of the norm, but what could be the best medicine is easily utilized in the gym. Exercise can be considered a behavioral treatment, a natural ‘feel-good’ medicine. With improved moods, stress is also less likely to occur. Fully investing in a hard workout leaves the mind unable to focus on the pressures of the day, creating a clearer mindset upon leaving the gym.

The full circle moment experienced with regular physical activity is improved sleep. Everyone needs and wants a good nights rest. The physical exertion being engaged during an exercise will help keep all of the body’s rhythms in tune with one another. Sleeping better at night means a more productive day, a better mood, higher immune function, as well as reduced risk of cognitive impairment. Whenever people ask how to improve sleep, the answer should always be a hard workout. Another bedroom benefit of exercise is improved sex life. Yes, this is an awkward topic, but also something that everyone should talk about. Age is tricky and hormones begin to fire less than they did at 20 years old. Exercise increases the demand on the endocrine system, which is in charge of the release of hormones, meaning the body will fire more hormones with exercise. Exercise will also increase muscle mass which requires more androgens. Androgens are a group of hormones that help men and women maintain sexual function. Emotional resilience and commitment will also improve, bettering all relationships.

Physical activity could literally cure half the world’s mental and physical issues. No matter what age, exercise reaps benefits that are too bold to ignore. The sooner a ritual is in place, the better, but it is never too late to start. It is detrimental that every person engages in some form of physical activity. The science is there, commitment is the final step. Let’s do this!

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Myth v. Fact: The Fear of Bulking Up–Why Are Women So Afraid To Lift Weights

Let’s just get this out of the way right now, it is relatively impossible to bulk as a female. Your body is incapable of generating that much muscle without the use of supplements, steroids, and hours per day of heavy lifting.

Many women step into the gym with the same assumptions. That weight lifting and resistance training will lead to a bulkier build. As a result, women will gravitate towards the cardio equipment, thinking that is the quickest avenue to burning off last nights margaritas.

If it’s a toned, slimmed physique women are looking for, then weight lifting and resistance training are essential. Most, if not all women, want the same end goal. The flat tummy and toned arms and legs. It is virtually impossible to achieve that by just doing cardio alone. To get the transformation women are looking for, it is best to actually hit weight training harder than it would be to specifically tackle the cardio equipment.

Hormones play a key role in bulking up. The key hormone utilized in muscle growth is testosterone. Yes, that is a male dominant hormone, but females also have testosterone. But because men typically have 10-20 times more testosterone than women, they are genetically more capable of putting on muscle weight and keeping it.

Another big deterrent of lifting is that it will make women look unfeminine. However, lifting weights will tone and tighten a woman’s body without the look of excessive muscle growth. Strength training will also make women more flexible, increase bone density, create better balance, better coordination, higher agility, power and mobility. Not to mention, sleep will improve and stress levels will drop.

When in the gym it is important to remember that as women continue to lift, their muscles will continue to burn calories even AFTER their lift. Yes, cardio burns more calories, but only in that moment. Weight lifting creates micro facial tears in your muscles that burn calories during recovery, as they try to repair themselves. This means that the body is literally burning calories while you drive home from the gym. Maybe try a workout that is higher in repetitions and lower in weight, or lower in repetitions and higher in weight. The goal is to tone and lean out. Either of those training techniques will help the body get there.

Weight training is the secret to women’s weight loss. Goals will be met quicker, bodies will look hotter, flexibility will increase, among so many more. Knock the stress, get better sleep, weight train. Let’s do this!