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10 Healthy Ideas:

  1. Drink water
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Walk after eating
  4. Floss your teeth
  5. Use the stairs
  6. Play a sport
  7. Take vitamins
  8. Go dancing
  9. One less cookie
 10. Stretch daily

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Reasons:  Eight Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Exercise is good for you! Physical activity and general fitness levels are known to be a factor in the prevention, reduction, or control of major health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, and low back pain.

By adding a moderate amount of exercise into your daily schedule, you can significantly improve your overall health and quality of life. Benefits of exercise can be achieved by almost everyone, regardless of age, sex, race or physical ability.

1.   Manage weight
Exercise burns calories to help achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. With exercise, your body works harder and uses more fuel (calories). Even after you stop exercising, your body continues to burn calories at a modestly increased rate for a few hours. With more intense exercise, more energy is consumed and calories burned.

By burning more calories than you take in, you can reduce body fat, making your whole body healthier. Less body fat helps you look and feel better and reduces risk of obesity. Maintaining a healthy body weight eases pressure on your bones and joints, which can help prevent conditions such as arthritis.

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2.   Strengthen cardiovascular and respiratory systems
Cardiovascular system is the circulation of blood through the heart and blood vessels. A buildup of plaques in your arteries, caused by cholesterol and other products in your bloodstream, can interrupt your blood flow and cause life-threatening damage. Regular exercise:

  • Lowers the buildup of plaques in arteries by increasing the concentration of HDL cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol — and decreasing the concentration of LDL cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol — in your blood.
  • Prevents the onset of high blood pressure to those at risk
  • Lowers blood pressure if you already have high blood pressure
  • Developes greater lung capacity, so you're better able to take in oxygen to nourish your cells
  • Strengthens the heart and lungs. Blood travels more efficiently, bringing nutrients to the rest of your body.

3.   Keep bones and muscles strong
Exercise helps prevent the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. Strength training exercises — such as lifting weights — are especially helpful. Strength training and weight-bearing exercises (walking, jogging) help preserve bone mass and may even increase bone density. By strengthening your muscles and bones, you can also improve balance and coordination, reducing your risk of falls.

4.   Manage pain and stress
Exercise fights depression by activating the neurotransmitters — chemicals used by your nerve cells to communicate with one another — associated with avoiding depression. Those neurotransmitters are serotonin and norepinephrine. Their levels and balance with each other play a role in how you react to daily events. When you experience depression, the level of serotonin, norepinephrine or both may be out of sync. Exercise may help synchronize those brain chemicals.

Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins that produce feelings of well-being, provide for "natural" pain relief, and help you relax. A gym workout or a 30-minute walk at a good pace can help calm you.

5.   Prevent or manage diabetes
Regular exercise, with a healthy diet, is an major way to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. As your muscles contract during exercise, they use sugar for energy. To meet this energy need, sugar is removed from your blood during and after exercise, which lowers your blood sugar level.

6.   Reduce risk of certain cancers
Exercise lowers the risk of breast and uterine cancers by reducing body fat and decreasing estrogen production. It may also help lower the risk of cancers of the colon and prostate. Researchers believe that exercise helps combat colon cancer by helping digested food move through the colon more quickly.

7.   Sleep better
Moderate exercise at least three hours before bedtime can help you relax and sleep better at night, which in turn aids your physical and mental health.

8.   Builds self-esteem
Knowing that you are fit and capable of physical activity helps you feel more at ease and gives a sense of pride from being able to walk or run or swim a for a certain time or distance.


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