Tag Archives: improve mood

11 Exercise Benefits You Don’t See

exerciseWhat’s the most common reason why people exercise? To lose weight. Yet, physical activity provides so many more benefits. Do you want to feel better? Need more energy? Want to live longer? Then get out there and get moving!

Here are 11 important benefits to exercising that you don’t see:

Improved mood
If you’re in a bad mood or have had a stressful day, you can blow off some steam by going for a brisk 30-minute walk or working out at the gym. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about yourself because you fit a workout into your day.

Energy boost
When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is move. Yet, when you use energy to exercise, it gives you an energy boost. By exercising more regularly, you may also be able to eliminate fatigue and find that you have a lot more pep.

More confidence
Working out can make you look better on the outside. It can also make you feel better on the inside. Exercising can make you feel more empowered and boost your self-esteem. You feel ready to conquer anything.

Sleep better
We need our beauty rest so that our bodies can recover, repair damage, renew energy and clear the mind. Exercise is an all-natural sleep aid. People who exercise regularly have less insomnia and a higher quality of sleep.

Reduce stress
Exercise calms your body and your brain. After you work out, the levels of stress hormones – such as adrenaline and cortisol – drop. Especially after aerobic exercise, stress and anxiety melt away. You may also be able to cope more easily with stress when you feel confident about yourself.

Pump up your heart
If high blood pressure and heart disease run in your family, exercise can help you strengthen your heart. Being active boosts HDL or “good cholesterol” and lowers unhealthy triglycerides. Physical activity keeps your blood flowing and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Combat disease
In addition to giving you a healthy heart, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. Do you have a family history of certain types of diseases? Get moving and reduce your risk of stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

Relieve arthritis pain
Regular exercise can help ease your pain if you have arthritis. It can make your daily activities easier. Consider non-impact exercises like swimming. These types of exercises can be easier on your joints.

Strengthen bones
It’s important to keep our bones and muscles strong as we get older. Weight-bearing exercise, such as weight-lifting, walking, tennis and dancing, can help you strengthen and build bones. It can also help ward off osteoporosis and improve balance and coordination.

Look younger
People who work out often look younger than their friends. Now research has found that exercisers are truly younger on a cellular level than their peers. Exercise more and feel free to lie about your age!

Live longer
In addition to looking younger, regular exercise can add years to your life. You don’t have to be a hard-core fitness buff. Just get up and get moving. Even a little exercise can help you live longer than not exercising at all.

The bottom line: exercise is a great way to feel better, gain confidence, combat disease and improve chronic health conditions. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. So get moving!

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9 reasons to drink water

9 reasons to drink waterWhen I was younger, you were supposed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Then, research came out that said you didn’t need to drink that much water. So, how much water should you drink?

The Institute of Medicine has determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total fluids a day. The recommended intake for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total fluids a day.

This advice isn’t that much different than the 64 ounces I learned as a kid. The one difference is that the Institute of Medicine counts all “fluids” as part of your daily total, not just water.

Is it still important to drink water? Absolutely! Here are 9 reasons to drink plenty of water each day:

Lose weight
Water aids in the metabolism of the stored fats in your body and helps flush out the by-products of fat breakdown as well as other toxins. In addition, when you choose to drink water instead of a beverage with calories, it can help you reduce your calorie intake. Drinking water can also reduce feelings of hunger so that you will eat less.

Relieve a headache
Water can help relieve headaches and back pain due to dehydration. There are many other reasons for headaches and back pain, but dehydration is a common one. Keeping hydrated may help stave off these types of aches and pains.

Help digestion
A number of digestive issues can be caused by not drinking enough water. Constipation, heartburn, gastritis and ulcers can be prevented by maintaining a proper water intake. Water can also boost metabolism by helping your digestive system work properly.

Look younger
When your skin is hydrated, you look younger. Water moisturizes your skin, replenishes skin tissues and increases skin elasticity. Basically, water gives your skin a glow and helps keep it looking fresh.

Prevent cramps
Staying hydrated will help you keep your joints and muscles lubricated. This means you are less likely to suffer from cramps or sprains.

Reduce risk of disease
Drinking plenty of water helps your body fight disease and illnesses, such as the flu, kidney stones and even a heart attack. Water may also help reduce the risks of bladder and colon cancer. Drinking water also improves your immune system and may help minimize the symptoms of arthritis.

Be more productive
You feel more energized and alert when you have proper hydration. That’s because your brain and tissues are made up primarily of water. The more water, the better your ability to think.

Exercise more effectively
You need to drink plenty of water when you are exercising. You will be more energized while you workout, and the water helps fuel your muscles. Water also helps regulate your body temperature. While you’re active, it can balance your inner temperature.

Improve your mood
Water makes your body feel good. And if your body feels good, it will tell your brain which will in turn make you feel happy. In addition, it just feels good to know you are doing something that will improve your overall health.

So, go drink a glass of water!

10 reasons to get more sleep

need more sleepI have terrible sleep habits. I like to stay up late, I watch TV or play on my iPad in bed, and then I don’t want to get up in the morning. Most nights, I get maybe 6 hours of continuous sleep. No big deal, right? So what if I can take a nap standing up and get grouchy for no reason.

Well, after doing some research, I was surprised by how much getting enough sleep affects overall health and well-being.

Check out these 10 reasons you should get more sleep:

Live longer
I was surprised to learn that getting enough sleep can help you live longer. Sleep may have more influence on longevity than healthy eating habits, exercising or heredity. Without enough sleep, you are more likely to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke or possibly even develop breast cancer.

Be healthier
Sleep may also help you fight off illness. Good sleep helps boost your immune system. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to catch colds, the flu and other infectious diseases. It will also take you longer to recover if you are skimping on sleep.

Look better
Yes, you do need your beauty sleep. We undergo changes in metabolism and secrete growth hormones when we are in our deepest sleep. That means you look better – and possibly even younger – when you are well-rested instead of deprived of sleep. 

Feel better
You also feel better when you get plenty of sleep. You have more energy, ambition and enthusiasm. Being more rested can help you have a better attitude and be prepared to deal with whatever comes your way throughout the day.

Build your brain
Sleep can boost your memory. During sleep, new memories are processed in your brain. Lack of sleep affects your concentration, decision-making skills and overall performance. In fact, not getting enough sleep can have mental and physical affects similar to drinking too much alcohol. Sleep just helps your brain work better.

Be skinnier
Studies suggest that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight. Sleep can help you maintain better hormonal balance, and that helps you choose to eat healthier foods. When you are sleep deprived, you crave high-carb and high-sugar foods. So, sleep more and leave the cake, donuts and cookies alone.

Be safer
As mentioned earlier, being sleep deprived is similar to drinking too much alcohol. With the right amount of sleep, you are more alert and aware. You are less likely to have an injury due to falling or being careless. In addition, you are a better driver when you are more rested.

Make better decisions
Lack of sleep can make it difficult to make good decisions, or for that matter, even any decision at all. I have been known to stare at my sock drawer for five minutes in the morning, trying to pick out a pair of socks. I have trouble making decisions on a good day, but without enough sleep it’s nearly impossible.

Reduce pain
Physical pain can be associated with lack of sleep. Studies have shown that if you have chronic pain from an injury, getting enough sleep may help reduce the pain. Sleep is nature’s pain reliever and can even help reduce the need for pain medication.

Be happier
When you are deprived of sleep, you may experience more moodiness and anxiety. Some studies have shown that lack of sleep can also lead to depression. Getting enough sleep can improve your overall mood, help you concentrate and improve your productivity. You can better cope with stress and stressful situations in your day-to-day life.

After learning how important sleep can be to my overall health, I am setting a goal to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Are you sleep deprived? Tell us about your sleep habits!