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You and Your Health

The Positive Effects of Making Exercise a Priority

Exercise can be a drag but it can also save lives.  Studies are showing now more than ever that exercising daily is as important as brushing teeth and showering.  A sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity, increased risk for diabetes, cancer and so much more.  Exercise needs to be a priority every day, an ongoing appointment, and as the saying goes, “No excuses.” In the spirit of September’s Self-Improvement Month,  Chicago Healers Practitioner Valerie Early, RD, offers these reasons to start the month right by committing to daily exercise:

  * Two out of three adult Americans are overweight or obese. The risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and death increases as your weight rises.
  * Diabetes risk is eight times higher in overweight women and six times higher in overweight men.
  * Obesity accelerates aging even more than smoking.
  * Cognitive (mental) performance improves with exercise.
  * Regular exercise in younger years reduces Alzheimer’s risk by 60% later in life.
  * Exercise helps with stress management.
  * Daily activity reduces depression and anxiety symptoms. This is especially true in women.
  * Neurotransmitters like serotonin are increased in the brain when you exercise.
  * People who exercise have higher quality sleep.
  * Muscle mass decreases 40%-50% between the ages of thirty and eighty.
  * Physical activity increases muscle mass, increasing the metabolic rate (the ability to burn calories).
  * Active people report a better sex life and libido.
  * Exercise, especially strength training, increases testosterone levels.
  * Physical activity promotes self-esteem, and self-empowerment soars.
  * Fit people reports higher incomes and job satisfaction.

A Lifelong Habit

How can you make regular exercise a lifelong habit? If getting started on a regular exercise routine feels overwhelming, you might start by doing any kind of movement (walking, stretching, or using a yoga DVD) for ten to fifteen minutes every morning for at least three weeks. It generally takes three weeks to establish a new habit.

For those who have been inactive for a long period of time or may have a health concern, please consult with your physician before starting an exercise program. You may also consider hiring a certified personal trainer to help you develop a routine tailored to your needs and body fat loss or health goals.

About ChicagoHealers.com-Chicago Healers (www.ChicagoHealers.com) is the nation’s pioneer prescreened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach, and philosophy.  Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and our website.  With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in 300+ TV news programs and print publications.  For more information, visit www.ChicagoHealers.com.