Surely you don't need persuasion to exercise regularly. After all, you know it makes you feel good. Muscles look better than flab. And you improve your odds of attracting the opposite sex. But there are good reasons to exercise beyond the usual. It can actually improve your health, make you sharper, help prevent accidents and maybe even reduce your chances of getting fired.
Here are 4 extra health benefits provided by regular exercise.
Prevent colds and flu.
Exercise is a great boost for your immune system. You not only mentally recharge, your body does all sorts of good things to keep you healthy.
To get this benefit most effectively, do cardio exercises, such as running and bicycling - whether on machines at the gym or in real life. Get within your target heart zone for 30 to 60 minutes a session, at least three times a week.
More isn't better in the case of this health benefit. If you extend each of your cardio workouts to 90 minutes, you're probably overdoing it and won't get the immune system benefit.
It doesn't have to be only cardio work; weightlifting helps here, too. It's a common misconception that exercise makes you hungry. While you might feel hungry after a particular exercise session - especially if you haven't had enough to eat that day - regular exercise even provides appetite control.
Besides curbing cravings, many athletes say they actually want to eat healthier foods and feel more satisfied when they do.
A tip: ensure you're eating the correct total number of calories and protein/carb/fat grams. Some people mistakenly don't increase their calorie intake when they increase their amount of exercise and get run down. Others begin eating too much, especially fattening foods.
The key is to learn about nutrition. You don't have to become a scientist; you just need to understand what you're consuming.
Rev up your metabolism.
If you didn't know it already, here's one of the best things about building muscle: muscle burns more calories than fat while in a resting state. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just by standing there.
You don't have to be Arnold to get this benefit. A regular cardio session increases your metabolism for an hour, maybe more.
Beyond a single session, exercise of any type jacks up your overall metabolism, some studies indicate. Face it, in staying fit, your body just runs more efficiently - like a well-maintained car.
Those oatmeal commercials make a good point. But there are other ways to lower cholesterol, exercise being one of them.
Cholesterol levels are of increasing concern to people. And though most doctors used to suggest a cholesterol count of 200 as the maximum, many doctors are now recommending 150.
Many are concerned about their cholesterol count. Diet can have a big impact, but so does exercise.
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