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The Importance of Staying Active

Most people can agree that exercise is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps maintain weight as well as strengthens your muscles, heart and lungs. Here are a few things that you might not know about exercise.

Exercise can increase bone strength. Like muscles, bone tissue responds to exercise training by becoming stronger. Good bone building exercises include weight bearing dynamic activities such as bursts of walking, running, stopping and turning.

Due to genetic factors, and general wear and tear, nearly everyone over the age of 70 will have some osteoarthritic changes to joints. Incorporating stretching and aerobic exercises into your routine can help minimize the effects of aging. These types of activities help to maintain healthy ligaments,tendons, muscles and cartilage that support joints.

During the aging process it is common to have a slow progressive loss of muscle mass as well as a decrease in strength, reflexes and flexibility. This can start as early as the age of 30 and is usually associated with a decline in activity levels. Aerobic activities and strength training can slow or even reverse this progression.

Although it's not yet fully understood why, many studies have shown that exercising at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week can help reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and Dementia (or even slow the progression for those who have already developed signs).

Exercise can decrease stress, anxiety and depression. Almost any form of physical activity will increase your endorphin levels(feel good hormones). Exercise can help take the focus off your daily stressors and bring your attention to your body. An added bonus is that you will likely experience an increase in self confidence and will get a better, more restful sleep!

Gentle exercise during pregnancy can help prepare your body for the coming changes. Staying active will help you carry the extra weight that is gained during pregnancy. It will help prepare your body for the physical challenge of labour and getting back into shape after giving birth will likely be easier.

Remember, exercise doesn't necessarily have to mean going to the gym, or jumping on the treadmill. It’s important to find something that’s right for you, something that keeps you physical and mentally healthy! :)

Always consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you are pregnant or have a medical condition.

The Foundation for a Healthy Body is Water,Sleep, Diet, Exercise and Stress Management.

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