More Benefits of Exercise including Weight Loss
Working out is good for you; this is a fact that is well known. Many individuals partake in physical activity for two main reasons, to lose fat, and to gain mass. There are many other benefits to being consistently physically active. In my opinion, these benefits far outweigh the bodyweight regulation benefits. In being physically active, some benefits that can be expected are: lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar (diabetes), osteoporosis prevention and bone health, and many more.
According to the AMA (American Heart Association), one out of three adults has high blood pressure. Resistance training can lower blood pressure by 3mmHg if done consistently, but aerobic training can have much larger effects. With aerobic training (cardio) those who are borderline hypertensive can see a drop of up to 14mmHg in their systolic blood pressure, and a drop of 9mmHg in their diastolic blood pressure. Those who have hypertension (BP of 140/90 or higher) can see a drop of up to 10mmHg in their systolic blood pressure, and a drop of up to 7mmHg in their diastolic blood pressure. Many take medication to control their blood pressure, but it can be controlled without using medication simply by incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle for at least 150 minutes per week.
According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) one out of every ten people has diabetes (or high blood sugar). There are receptors (GLUT4) that control blood sugar concentration in our bodies. Some of these receptors are specific to exercise and only work during physical activity. When exercising, these receptors are activated and accelerate glucose (sugar) uptake, hence, lowering blood sugar naturally. The accelerated glucose uptake received from exercise can last for up to 40 hours after the exercise has stopped. This means that individuals who exercise will have better control over their sugar levels for almost two days after exercising! How long this “extra control” lasts depends on the duration and intensity of activity, so the more you do, the more you will get out of it. Exercising will improve the ability to control your blood sugar, so it is recommended that activity be done at least every other day so that this control can be maintained at all times.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that can affect anyone, especially older adults and females. After about age 30, as we age we lose bone mineral density (BMD), about 1% per year, and this loss of BMD causes our bones to be weaker. Females naturally have lower BMD than males, and after reaching menopause, the protective effect of estrogen on bone health decreases. This is the reason why females are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Putting stress on the bones by resistance training provides a protective effect that may hinder the amount of BMD that is lost. In short, resistance training keeps our bones stronger for a longer period of time. In younger individuals (age under 25-30), resistance training makes the bones stronger, so it’s especially important that those in this age group start stressing their bones early (via resistance training or running) so that they build a strong base before their BMD plateaus as they get older.
Exercise really is medicine. If it could be bottled and sold, there would be no other medicine that could compete with it. Many exercise for weight control, but the possibilities go much further than that. Overall, physical activity decreases the risk for many diseases, and most of these diseases are the most common causes of death in the United States, and the world (i.e. cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc…). So get out there, workout, be healthy, and live a long life with many quality years! Happy goal reaching!
Jerome is a leading success coach and personal trainer at Horizon Personal Training in CT. He has helped 100’s of people become inspired to transform their lives! Jerome is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and is on track to graduate from CCSU majoring in exercise science in only 1 more semester. To learn more about Jerome, please go to www.horizonpersonaltraining.com