ur dominant western diet consists of pro-inflammatory foods and drinks that are high in trans-fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates. This low-quality nutrition causes our bodies to become acid, creating an environment where disease thrives.
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Move that Body- Exercise and Weight
More commonsense tells us to exercise regularly. Similar to the modern diet that lacks many of our essential nutrients for good health, modern lifestyles eliminate the movement that is so necessary to keep your body in shape and your joints healthy. Sitting in front of computers for work or play is NOT a physical workout. You have to find some form of exercise that gets you moving regularly.
Exercise and the Endocrine System
There is no way around it; without regular exercise you will never attain the correct body weight, nor will you ever be free of health problems.
What is it about exercise that makes it such a powerful weapon in the battle against excess weight? Many of us make the mistake of thinking that weight loss hinges on calories in (our food intake) and calories out (the energy we use when we exercise). This is true to a point, but exercise has an important function beyond the limits of calorie expenditure.
Exercise plays a crucial role in regulating the endocrine (hormonal) system by stimulating the production of many different hormones. A healthy endocrine system is the key to physical vitality and mental alertness. It also controls all aspects of weight management.
So, without exercise it is impossible to obtain your perfect weight.
What TYPE of Exercise is Best?
It is important to find an exercise programme that suits YOU and fits comfortably into your lifestyle.
If you want to stick with it, exercising needs to become a natural part of your day. It is also important to follow a balanced programme that incorporates the following: aerobic exercise, resistance or strength training and stretching.
Aerobic activity requires your heart and lungs to work at a steady pace. This increases oxygen consumption and is of great benefit to the lungs and cardiovascular system. Try activities like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, running or aerobics classes at the gym.
If you are a beginner, walking is the easiest to start with and also the cheapest and most natural. Almost anyone can brisk walk and as a bonus you don’t need any special gear (flat shoes and loose comfortable clothing are ideal). Set a brisk pace that gets your heart pumping. Swing your arms and stride out with purpose. As a form of exercise, walking is the one that with the fewest side effects and is also best for the back. Alternatively, rebounding on a small trampoline can be done indoors when its pouring with rain or there is not enough time to go for a long walk.
You can even do it while you watch the news on television, so there is, in fact, no excuse for not exercising in some way or another.
It is also important to do some form of resistance or strength training. This is not only good for muscle strength and tone, and for keeping the ligaments, tendons and joints in good working order, but it is also vital for building bone density. This slows down the aging process and keeps us independent as we grow older. Strength training also speeds up the metabolism. As we get older the metabolism tends to slow down as a result of muscle loss. This leads to the typical “middle aged spread” and the various problems associated with weight gain mentioned earlier. A programme of light weight training at the gym, regular gardening, good old press-ups or even a bout of vigorous house cleaning are all of benefit.
If you want to keep the spring in your step, you should not neglect to incorporate some stretching in your exercise routine. Stretching oxygenates the body tissues, keeps the joints strong and mobile, and ensures flexibility of the spine. You will find that with regular stretching, you are less prone to injury, your posture improves and that tension headaches become less frequent. This is particularly important if you lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle, spending a lot of time at your desk or in your car. So ward off the stiffness of old age by doing a stretch and tone class at the gym.
If you are not motivated to exercise on your own or need encouragement or accountability, join an exercise group or a good gym so that you can be monitored and have a tailor-made programme made for you…
I have just completed an 8 wk challenge at my local gym and found it to be a lot of fun. I felt supported and inspired and with goal-orientated programs, I got RESULTS
Take up the Challenge and tidy up for the summer
Article written by Heather Fausett Registered Nurse, Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach
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