EXERCISE EVERY DAY
ďMy People are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:5Ē
You donít have to look far for signs that exercise is good for you. In fact, all you have to do is turn on the TV. Youíll be confronted with television shows and ads all touting the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. No matter how commercial these ploys may be, the message theyíre sending is a valid one: Exercise is good for you. Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease by decreasing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol on your cardiovascular system, while it increases your HDL (good) cholesterol. Working out also helps you maintain or lose weight, increases the strength of your heart muscle, increases the amount of enzymes in your body fat, and increases the amount of muscle mass in your body.
Aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking, or swimming, uses a lot of energy and strengthens your heart and lungs. Regular aerobic exercise also improves circulation throughout your body and improves your bodyís ability to use oxygen. Exercise also builds energy levels, reduces stress and tension, helping you to relax and sleep better.
Itís never too late to start an exercise program; just check with your doctor before you begin. Most physicians will gladly assist you in planning your personal fitness program. (Their advice is important because some exercises, such as weightlifting, can be quite strenuous and arenít a good option for everyone, especially those people with high blood pressure or coronary heart disease.) Regardless of the exercise program you choose, make sure itís something you enjoy because, above all else, exercise should be fun.
According to the American Heart Association, any exercise you undertake should begin with a warm-up period, which prepares your body for the exercise to follow. The next phase of exercise, which is more vigorous, will make your heart stronger and bring more oxygen into your body, both of which make you feel better.
Exercise at least five times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day---and remember that physical activity doesnít necessarily need to be vigorous to confer cardiovascular benefits. For example, moderate activity, such as brisk walking, can be just as beneficial. Just remember to cool down slowly and completely after you exercise.
And donít overdo it! Take it slow, and be patient with your body. As time passes, youíll be able to do more; just let this process happen naturally. Everyoneís body is different. Listen to your to learn when and when not to push yourself harder. Remember: Exercise should be fun because, just like a healthy diet, itís a habit that should last for the rest of your life. Think of exercise as time to play and enjoy it!
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