How Exercise Affects a Body

By Chrissy MacDonald

Our bodies were designed to be active. We weren’t meant to sit in a chair all day. And yet that’s how most of us spend the majority of our days. Sitting in front of a computer screen by day and relaxing in front of the television by night.

The lifestyle where most people worked in fields, chopped their own wood and walked everywhere kept a body in shape. These days, machines do the physical work. Elevators, cars and entertainment systems are making us fat and unfit.

We have to make a point to exercise. Our bodies need regular maintenance just like our cars or they deteriorate faster. If it wasn’t for my little Vizsla puppy reminding me to get outside for a walk in the morning, it would too easy for me to be lazy. I’m not suggesting you get a puppy. But find out what works best for you.

So what can happen to an unfit inactive body? Heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, constipation, bone and muscle disorders and obesity are some examples of the effects of not exercising.

Regular physical exercise affects the body in many positive ways.

Aerobic exercise (activity that gets you breathing harder) strengthens the heart and a strong heart does more with less effort. Aerobic exercise also strengthens the lungs, improving their ability to absorb oxygen and get rid of waste.  Exercise helps lower blood pressure which is a major risk factor for stroke.

A regular routine of resistance exercise (strength training) such as using free weights, resistance tubing or your own body weight helps strengthen bones which can become brittle with age. You’ll also firm up muscles for a leaner body.

Regular exercise keeps metabolism regulated so you can maintain an ideal body weight or lose weight faster.

Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel happier. These positive hormones create a natural “high.” You’ll be able to handle stressful situations more easily and be more relaxed and content.

The sooner you start exercising, the sooner you’ll realize the benefits. No matter what your age or physical condition, regular exercise can improve your quality of life.

Good things happen to those who exercise!

How to Find the Motivation to Get in Shape and Be Healthy – These 3 Steps

By Chrissy MacDonald

Have you been thinking about getting in shape? Losing weight? Eating healthier? We all have something we need to work on – that one thing that we keep saying we need to do but something keeps us from starting. Why is finding that motivation so hard? The fact that you’re reading this blog post is because I finally hit the “publish” button on my blog (first post!) and put this out there into the world for you.

Well, one thing’s for sure: no one can make you do what you aren’t ready to do. Your motivation needs to come from within yourself. Finding the motivation to get started at anything is the hardest part of all. So if you’re ready to finally get started and take the first steps, read on!

Here are three steps to getting started on your lifetime of healthy living:

1. Make a decision. The first step to improving fitness is to make the decision that you are going to make some changes in your life. And the changes don’t have to happen all at once. Make the decision that you’re going to get started. That’s all. Think of all the good reasons for living the fitness lifestyle: you’ll reduce your chances of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer. You’ll have more energy; you’ll have a stronger heart, lungs and muscles. You’ll reduce your stress level. And you will look better, fit into your clothes (maybe buy new, smaller ones!). You’ll feel generally much happier.

2. Have a plan. The second step is to have a plan. For example, set aside certain times during the week to commit to exercise. Once you set the time, you’ve made the commitment. You might also write down your plan. This reinforces the commitment to yourself. Your plan should include small realistic goals that are part of a big picture. Don’t try to do too much at first or you may get discouraged.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight and you haven’t been exercising, start with 15 minutes three times per week to do some form of physical exercise you will enjoy. It may be walking to the post office, parking at the other end of the parking lot at work or hauling up the stationery bike from the basement and going for a spin (you can even watch tv while you do it). Whatever it is, make it something you will enjoy. Then set aside 10 minutes a day to do something special for yourself. Make it a time to relax, reflect and take a few deep breaths. Maybe have an afternoon nap. This is time for you only. It will help you stay focused and in control of your goals.

3. Be consistent. The third step is to be consistent. To get the benefits of fitness, you must keep it up regularly. Don’t let excuses keep you from sticking to your plan. By starting off slowly you’ll increase your chances of success. Every little positive thing you do will bring you closer to your goals.

And remember, if you slip up, keep on going. Don’t let a setback keep you from your ultimate goal. This is very important. They say it takes six weeks to develop a habit and two weeks to fall out of one. Just get back on track. Simple. Don’t beat yourself up about a minor setback.

So if you want to make a positive lifestyle change like exercising or eating healthier, why not start today?

In this blog, I will be sharing tips and ideas to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Please subscribe to get regular e-mail updates. Thanks for visiting Get Simply Fit!