How many excuses can you come up with for not walking or not going to the gym? You are too tired or you don’t have enough time. You don’t like your gym. It’s cold outside? No one needs to tell you that regular exercise is important to your health. We all know it is critical to preventing major health problems and diseases, as well as benefiting us by helping us look fit and feel great.
We started with a great article called “Health Benefits of Treadmill Exercise” which got us thinking. If we know that we get the necessary health benefit through exercising, why aren’t more of us taking thirty minutes to one hour per day to meet our physical fitness requirements? We are great at making excuses but not so great at creating new and positive habits that stick. Using a treadmill is a great way to put accessible exercise conveniently in your own home.
Learning to incorporate important things into our daily schedule like exercise may need a reminder of what we get as a reward for adopting a healthy exercise focused lifestyle. We’ve put together a list of five ways that exercise will literally “pay you back” for making it an important part of your day.
1. Weight Control
We know that diets don’t work. Restricting what you eat may create a short term weight loss (mostly water) which is easily gained back when you start eating again. What’s worse is that sometimes you can gain even more having put your body into a state of ketosis (famine). The minute you end that state of famine your body switches into fat storing mode to ensure that it has enough energy and resources, as it assumes you have less reliable access to food.
Exercise is the key to maintaining healthy body weight. When combined with a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and vitamins you can manage your weight easily with a consistent daily exercise regime. No need for special supplements or fad diets, simple healthful eating and the ability to burn off calories for thirty minutes to one hour every day will keep you looking and feeling great.
2. Elevates Mood
Do you know how we tend to all feel a little down in the off months? During the winter we typically eat fewer fruits and vegetables, get less sunlight and exercise far less than we do in the warmer months. It’s no wonder that it is a lot harder to smile in the winter months since the average North American really does a bad job of taking care of themselves through the colder seasons.
Another complication of mood and seasonal affective disorder is the foods that we choose. Since we are already feeling the effects of seasonal mood suppression we tend to load ourselves up with the kind of foods that make us feel good. High fat and high sugar foods are characteristic of ‘comfort food’ but the fix is not lasting. We get our bodies used to a cycle of carbohydrate elevation and crashes, which can make us feel even more moody, irritated and it even interferes with our sleep.
According to studies by the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of mood disorder are often improved with regular exercise. Their article “Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms” provides some evidence and great tips for using regular exercise to help manage low mood and increase energy.
3. Improved Circulation
The sedentary lifestyle that most North American’s experience is not doing us any favors. In addition to creating the worst obesity epidemic in history, other disorders and problems are also on the rise including back injury, muscle pain, headaches, and more. Interestingly the research seems to point to our lack of physical activity as the source.
Using your treadmill to walk for as little as thirty minutes a day can improve your circulation dramatically. By moving your body, legs, and arms and increasing your respiration you are both oxygenating your blood as well as maximizing the blood flow to your body. When you increase your circulation and feed your muscles the oxygen they need to build and repair, your posture will improve, you will have fewer muscular injuries and you will notice that you feel generally better. Don’t forget that respiration (or sweating) is an important way that your body gets rid of harmful toxins. The best antioxidant is regular exercise!
4. Reduces Risk of Disease
Type II Diabetes is an epidemic on the rise which increases as obesity rates in North America continue to increase. Symptoms of Diabetes can include blindness, heart attack, loss of sensation in limbs, and in severe cases even coma and death. Diabetes is often referred to as the “silent killer” because the damage of high glucose is not seen for years, presenting itself (often when it is too late to repair) later in life.
Heart attacks, stroke, and even some cancers can be linked to the sedentary lifestyle that we all enjoy. Unfortunately, it is a lifestyle that is going to create tremendous health burdens for the majority of people later in life. Regular exercise can help mitigate these outcomes.
5. Improved Bone Density
Health professionals are trying to educate people at a younger age about the importance of building bone density and maintaining it through the course of their lives. The threat of Osteoporosis is even more significant for people with certain conditions (such as Hypothyroidism) and taking calcium supplements (although helpful) will not deter the average person from developing Osteoporosis in the future. Strength building exercise (such as High-Intensity Interval Training) builds and retains bone mass efficiently. Dust off that treadmill and start walking!
If you knew that something as small as exercising for 30-60 minutes per day could save you from a life-threatening condition would you do it? More importantly, would you start today? Buying yourself a treadmill and getting on the path of creating a positive daily exercise habit will improve your health immeasurably while making you feel great, look great, and setting a positive example for your family and friends.