Do you exercise to lose weight?

25 Jun 2017

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25 Jun 2017

Do you exercise to lose weight?

Why do you exercise? Is it to lose weight?

If you answered ‘Yes’ – then think again! Don’t let this be your reason to exercise, if your mindset is thinking towards this then you are setting yourself up for failure. Of course it has weight loss benefits but you will not sustain a long term benefit of exercise if it is solely to lose weight. I can pretty much guarantee that if you set out to exercise to lose weight you will not be consistent, you will get frustrated, your will not enjoy it, you will find it a chore and you will not see results at the pace that you want to. It is a bit like a crash diet, you don’t see results quick enough so you give up and try something else creating a yo-yo effect.

Treat your body with the respect that it deserves, after all it’s the only place you have to live.

Take a read of the below benefits of exercise and next time you decide to take up a new fitness regime then let it be for all of the below and not just for weight loss

1. It's good for your heart

Even a moderate amount of exercise helps your heart. Some exercise is better than none and more is better than less. Exercise reduces LDL cholesterol, the kind that clogs arteries. It also reduces your blood pressure, relieving stress on your heart; improves your insulin sensitivity; improves heart muscle function; and blood flow and diminishes the chances of developing blood clots.

2. Exercise promotes weight loss

If you exercise energetically for at least 30 minutes a day or with MyFitZone intense workouts you can actually achieve the same benefit from shorter workouts of just 5 to 10 minutes daily. It all depends on the intensity you put in – take some of the workouts on my website – TRI #1 – this takes less than 5 minutes to do and you could possible repeat it for 2 to 3 times for a 15 minute workout but that would you would lose form and not get the most out of the workout any longer after this due to the intensity you are working at. Be consistent and be regular and you will achieve the result you desire - to lose weight and keep it off.

3. Exercise prevents osteoporosis

Exercise, together with a healthy calcium intake, builds strong bones. Weight-bearing exercises, like running, walking and weight-lifting, help lower your odds of getting osteoporosis as you grow older.

Ideally, you should start when you're young, but it's never too late to pick up the habit. Even a brisk walk can help.

4. Exercise lowers high blood pressure

Exercise is good for your blood pressure - no matter your age, weight, race or gender. And it really doesn't matter whether you get exercise from a brisk walk, a fast run or a few laps in the pool; the results are equally good. Chose activities that increase heart rate and improve the body's ability to use oxygen.

On average, exercise helps reduce systolic (top number) pressure by nearly 4 mm Hg, and diastolic (bottom number) pressure by slightly more than 2.5 mm Hg. But those with extremely high blood pressure should not rely on exercise alone to control hypertension.

5. Exercise is an excellent de-stressor

It's general knowledge: exercise counters stress and depression. Exercise acts as a temporary diversion to daily stresses and it improves self-esteem. Increased core temperature during exercise may lead to reduced muscle tension and favourable alterations in brain neurotransmitters. Mood improvements may also occur due to the increased secretion of endogenous (internal) opiates, e.g. endorphins. Psychological changes may occur because of changes in norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, all hormones which can affect mood and anxiety levels.

6. Exercise prevents colds

One doesn't automatically associate regular exercise with a reduction in the number of colds people get. But research has found that people who exercised regularly were 23% less likely to get colds than those who exercised less. And if those who exercised got colds, the symptoms disappeared more quickly than in the study participants who did little exercise. Exercise spikes the immune system for a few hours each day, helping to ward off colds. Thirty minutes of brisk walking or a quick MyFitZone 5 minute workout is enough to make you reap the benefits of exercise.

7. Exercise reduces the severity of asthma

Many people who suffer from exercise-induced asthma, understandably try to avoid exercise. But sports medicine specialists say it's possible for asthmatics to continue exercising if they use preventive medications wisely and avoid certain triggers that exacerbate attacks. Exercise-induced asthma can be made worse by cold, dry air or air containing high levels of pollen or pollutants. The extra effort made to stay fit pays off in fewer or milder asthma attacks overall and a need for less medication.

8. Exercise reduces diabetic complications

Lifestyle factors have a huge impact on certain conditions – and diabetes is one of them. Exercise can help to reduce your insulin requirements, lower your cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and in the long term can reduce the development of heart disease and stroke. This is important because diabetics have a higher risk of developing heart and circulatory problems. Exercise can also promote weight loss, improve circulation and reduce stress levels (raising your glucose level).

9. Exercise promotes a healthy pregnancy

Although exercise might be risky in some cases, the benefits of exercising during pregnancy generally far outweigh the risks and some women can even exercise up until the third trimester. Relaxation exercises, Kegel exercise that strengthen the pelvic muscles and back exercises are all important for pregnant women.

10. Exercise plays a role in preventing cancer

At least 35% of all cancer deaths may be related to overweight and lack of activity. Exercise is believed to speed the passage of food through the colon, thereby reducing the amount of time that any toxins are in contact with the body. Overweight people also tend to have more insulin, which promotes the growth of tumours. For women, exercise reduces the level of oestrogen, a hormone linked to breast cancer.

11. Exercise has anti-ageing effects

Exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, possibly reducing risk of stroke. It also improves reasoning and memory.

Regular exercise arouses the brain and slows down degeneration of the central nervous system, which leads to slower reaction times and poorer coordination.

Exercise also increases strength and size of muscles and improves lung function. Regular exercise can reduce body fat and lower the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases in the elderly. Recent literature suggests that the greatest threat to health is not the aging process itself, but rather inactivity.

12. Exercise promotes brain health

Exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain, just as it improves circulation to the heart and the rest of the body. Activity also stimulates the growth of nerve cells in the part of the brain involved in memory.

13. Exercise is great for your sex life

Psychologically you feel better about yourself and more inclined towards sex, and physically, being fit improves libido, blood circulation and sexual functioning.

It has been said before that the brain may be the most important sexual organ. This is because stressed, anxious and depressed people are usually unable to enjoy a healthy sex life. Additionally, people with a bad body image do not feel good about their bodies and often avoid sex or are unable to truly enjoy it.

14. Exercise improves sleeping patterns

Relaxation exercises will help you to ease tension and relieve headaches, backaches and insomnia. Exercise releases the body's own painkillers, called endorphins, into your system. It also helps you to gain a sense of emotional wellbeing and a feeling of being more in control.

Exercise during the day promotes the onset and quality of sleep. But you need to exercise at the right time: the ideal time for exercise is in the morning. Exercising late in the day can contribute to sleeplessness, because exercise causes an increase in your body's energy.

15. Exercise combats impotence

Increased circulation as a result of exercise should result in lower levels of impotence, as getting an erection is dependent on the efficiency of blood circulating to the that region.

Losing weight, stopping smoking and doing more exercise are associated with better sexual health.

16. Exercise helps prevent stroke

According to studies, highly active people have a 27 percent lower risk of having a stroke or dying if they had one, compared with sedentary people. And people who were moderately active had a 20 percent lower risk.

Jogging 15 to 20 minutes a day most days would qualify as highly active. Brisk walks of 30 minutes a day on most days would qualify as moderate activity, so get doing a 5 minute workout every day form the MyFitZone 5 Minute Fat Burning Zone and that classes as moderately active got for a 10 minutes fat burning workout or a FIIT workout and you are highly active.

17. Exercise is good for mind and soul

Beneficial effects that exercise has on mental health. These include the following:

  • Exercise may act as a temporary diversion to daily stresses.
  • Exercise provides an opportunity for social interaction that may otherwise be lacking in an individual’s life.
  • Exercise provides an opportunity for self-mastery. Increasing fitness or improving body composition and other health parameters may improve an individual’s self-esteem.
  • Increased core temperature during exercise may lead to reduced muscle tension or alterations to brain neurotransmitters.
  • Mood improvements may occur due to the increased secretion of endogenous (internal) opiates e.g. endorphins
  • Psychological changes may occur due to alterations in norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, all hormones which can affect mood and anxiety level.
  • 8. Exercise improves oxygen and nutrient supply to all cells in your body.

    Exercise improves the body's utilisation of oxygen, and lowers systolic blood pressure (high pressure is a dangerous condition common in elderly people).

    19. Exercise allows you to improve muscle strength, joint structure and joint function

    Strengthening exercises increase not only muscle strength and mass, but also bone strength, and the body's metabolism.

    A certain level of muscle strength is needed to function every day and do things such as walking and climbing stairs. Strengthening exercises increase this muscle strength by putting more strain on a muscle than it is normally accustomed to receiving. This increased load stimulates the growth of proteins inside each muscle cell that allow the muscle as a whole to contract.

    Exercise can promote joint health for everyone, but particularly for people who suffer from arthritis. Arthritis is a general term for over 100 different conditions that cause pain, stiffness and often inflammation in one or more joints. Exercise can reduce some arthritis symptoms and improve joint mobility and strength.

    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Normally, the two bones of a joint are cushioned with a strong flexible tissue called cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage deteriorates, causing pain and stiffness.

    Cartilage doesn't have a blood supply; it relies on synovial fluid moving in and out of the joint to nourish it and take away waste products. Exercise helps this process.

    So get trying some strength workouts in the weights zones.

    20. Exercise helps to manage arthritis

    Regular, intensive exercise for patients with rheumatoid arthritis builds muscle strength and aerobic capacity, improves the ability to do daily tasks and fosters a sense of well-being. The positive effects on muscle strength and aerobic capacity could be translated into an improvement in the activities of daily living, and this is what really makes a difference in your life.

    Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.