How can movement and exercise benefit me?

The entire body benefits from regular movement largely as a result of improved cardiovascular and respiratory function. Exercise enhances the transport of oxygen and nutrients into cells at the same time as it enhances the transport of carbon dioxide and other waste products out of the cells. Regular exercise can also increase overall energy levels, and can exert a powerful positive effect on mood and the ability to handle stressful life situations. Physical inactivity is related to almost every type of chronic disease.

Why is exercise important for weight loss?

Exercise needs to be part of every weight loss program for the following reasons:

  • It improves insulin sensitivity in your cells, so you need less. Less insulin = less belly fat.
  • It reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol can contribute to insulin resistance and increased cravings.
  • Interval training can help to up-regulate your metabolism and burn more calories all day long.
  • Strength training helps to build muscle, which burns more calories than fat.
  • Exercise can strengthen heart function, lower blood pressure and improve oxygen delivery.
  • Exercise improves learning, memory and concentration.
  • Exercise can be an effective, natural anti-depressant by increasing mood-elevating substances in the brain known as endorphins.

Ways you can include exercise in your daily lifestyle

Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be scheduled hours in the gym. Have an awareness about constant movement during the day.

  • Select an activity you enjoy and do it regularly.
  • Don’t stay seated at your desk for longer than 1 hour without moving around the office.
  • Get out of the lift 2 floors below your office and walk the 2 flights of stairs.
  • Walk the escalators whenever you are travelling on them
  • Get off the bus 1-2 stops earlier and walk the rest of the journey
  • You may like to purchase an inexpensive pedometer to track your movement and aim for 10,000 steps per day.

Why is balanced nutrition important for exercising?

Appropriate nutrition pre-exercise helps ensure that you have sufficient fuel for the work-out, and post-exercise snacks can help to repair tired muscles and rebuild glycogen stores. Balanced nutrition needs to be part of every training plan.