The Benefits of Exercise


Total body mass can be made up of numerous parts such as muscle mass, water levels, food in the gut etc. and changes in weight  is not truly indicative of changes in fat but may in fact be due to any or all of these other factors.

Exercise is a cornerstone of a fat loss program but its influence on fat levels is just one of many positive impacts that it can have on general health fitness and well being. Interestingly, only moderate amounts of exercise are necessary to obtain many of these positive outcomes. Unfortunately only a small minority of people in Australia do sufficient exercise to achieve health benefits. In 1999 the “National Physical Activity Survey” found that 44% of adults were not getting enough exercise to achieve these health outcomes and that almost 15% did no physical activity at all. There are many individual reasons people give for not being able to exercise adequately however this lack of exercise has an enormous impact on the general health of Ausralians and the resulting illness is putting an enormous strain on the health care system.

The purpose of this material is to provide information about the type and amount of exercise necessary to reduce fat and the many deleterious health problems that are associated with being overweight. We will discuss the many different types of exercise that can be used and ways you can incorporate exercise into your everyday lifestyle in an effort to increase your level of participation in exercise. The benefits are endlesss:

§        Increase fitness

§  Improved functional capacity or the ability to undertake the normal functions of daily life without risking injury, illness or death.

§  Reduced levels of body fat there-by reducing the risk of developing many diseases and other injuries such as back and other joint pain.

§  Increased muscle mass and strength

§  Increased metabolism assisting to control body fat.

§  Reduced blood pressure

§  Increases HDL or “good” cholesterol reducing the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

§  Reducing the risk of developing and helping to control diabetes therefore reducing the risk of developing impotence, blindness and requiring limb amputations.

§  Lowers the risk of some cancers such as colon cancer.

§  Reduced risk of stroke.

§  Increased bone strength.

§  Reduces low back pain.

§  Helps to control asthma.

§  Assists in managing arthritis.

§  Helps to control stress and stress related health problems.

§  Improves feelings of well being and general mood states.

§  Assists in reducing and treating depression.

§  Acute exercise bouts lead to significant but short term increases in the hormones testosterone and growth hormone.

§  Increases longevity



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