By Sylvia Anderson, IH Editor — Published: July 29, 2010

If shedding pounds isn’t enough motivation to get you out of the recliner and into the gym, here are 11 powerful reasons to finally get up and get moving. According to U.S. News & World Report exercise not only helps you lose weight, but can boost your brain functioning and your mood, too.  But that’s not all.
Exercise reverses the aging process.

Stress takes a toll on your ability on your ability to age gracefully. When you exercise the brain’s feel good chemicals – dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – receive a much-needed boost to combat life’s stressors.

Exercise can lift the cloud of depression.

In some cases consistent activity can decrease the symptoms of depression about as well as prescription antidepressant drugs.

Exercise improves brainpower.

Exercise increases growth factors, certain brain chemicals that are fundamental in producing new brain cells.

New research from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago explains further. Two proteins are involved. One is called bone–morphogenetic protein (BMP), which hinders the production of new brain cells. The other protein is called Noggin, which is a BMP antagonist. According to the New York Times, more Noggin in your brain means less BMP activity. The result is more production of new brain cells.

Exercise fosters more self-esteem.

If you’ve lead a basically sedentary life, even small accomplishments such as running (or walking) a mile will make you feel better about yourself and what you see when you look in the mirror.

Exercise is a natural high.

You’ve probably heard marathon runners talk of the “runner’s high.” It’s a natural feeling of euphoria you get from high intensity exercise.  And the best part?  There are no bad side effects associated with it.

Need even more reasons to exercise?

Regular exercise has been shown to keep your mind sharp and can keep dementia at bay – despite what mainstream medicine reports. Chances are a few decades from now you won’t be too concerned about how you look on the beach, but if you are committed to an exercise routine, your mental clarity and quick wit will testify to your determination instead.

Even if you get a late start, exercise will slow down the aging process. This means you’ll be much less likely to have to deal with a disability or chronic disease – and much more likely to be trim and fit, happy, and self-sufficient.

Exercise improves immunity
by circulating immune cells more efficiently throughout your blood. This makes it easier for your immune system to attack viruses and diseases.

Exercise stabilizes your insulin levels. This is crucial for warding off the onset of Type-2 diabetes, and a low sugar environment also decreases cancer cell growth.

Exercise decreases the incidence of colon cancer
by 50% when compared to sedentary behavior. In addition, women who stick to a consistent exercise regimen can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 20 to 30% when compared to her inactive counterparts.

Researchers have measured the biochemical changes that take place when exercising. It’s really amazing what happens. From burning fat calories to stabilizing blood sugar, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight optimizes insulin receptor sensitivity.This is perhaps one of the most important factors when it comes to improving overall health and the prevention of all types of diseases–from diabetes to cardiac disease, to cancer.

In an age where Big Pharma pushes a pill for just about everything, the evidence is overwhelming – natural solutions such as exercise are a safer and often better remedy for many conditions and diseases.

Life is a Sport. Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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