Physical exercise is being recognized more and more as a powerful tool for healing – both physical and mental healing. While the term ‘healing’ can mean many things to many people, there is very little doubt that the benefits of regular exercise are very powerful and encompass many levels of optimal health and healing. Here are just a few examples: regular exercise can prevent the onset of some diseases, or help reverse some diseases, or build parts of the body that are weak, or give us energy, or stimulate a positive mental outlook. In fact, the effects of regular exercise are so far reaching that almost every part of our body can benefit!
So let’s have a look at just twelve of the huge array of benefits that physical exercise can provide for us:
- Muscle power and endurance: Regular physical exercise increases muscle strength and tone, and improves endurance.
- Increased energy: Exercise or regular physical activity increases our energy level. Because exercising takes some physical effort, many people mistakenly think that it will make them more tired. Not so! Here’s how it works: during exercise your cardiovascular system and respiratory system receive more nutrients and oxygen, which helps them work better; when your cardiovascular and respiratory systems work better you have more energy. Your body needs energy to heal.
- Sleep: Exercising earlier in the day can help promote a good night’s sleep. (caution: exercising too close to bedtime could leave you too energized to fall asleep). Good sleep is crucial for the healing process.
- Mental health: Exercising and regular physical activity have great benefits for mental health. Exercise stimulates the brain to release certain ‘feel good’ chemicals that can boost your mood and promote relaxation. It helps alleviate depression. Exercise can help you feel more confident about the way you look, and have a positive effect on your self-esteem. Exercise also improves cognitive function.
- Cardiovascular health: Exercise decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing unhealthy triglycerides.
- Weight: Regular exercise helps to control weight – it can either help to maintain weight loss or prevent excess weight gain.
- Healing degenerative disease: Physical activity that is done on a regular basis can help prevent or even contribute to healing many common degenerative diseases: stroke, diabetes, depression, metabolic syndrome, obesity, arthritis, and some types of cancer.
- Bone density: The right exercises (strength training or weight bearing exercises) can build bone density, which can reduce the risk for osteoporosis or it can heal osteoporosis. This is possible because weight bearing exercises build the muscles which pull on the bones and cause the bones to become thicker and stronger.
- Balance: Exercising increases balance, which can prevent falls. This is particularly important as we age, because our balance tends to diminish as we get older.
- Intimacy: The effects of regular exercise can ignite more passion in your love life. Besides looking better physically and feeling more energized, exercise can increase libido in women. And statistics show that men who exercise regularly have less problem with erectile dysfunction than men who are sedentary.
- Fun and social connectedness: Physical activity with family and friends can help build connections. It can be a great way to reach out to others, have fun and promote happiness.
- Arthritis: Regular exercise can help to manage arthritis by strengthening the muscles, keeping the joints moving and increasing aerobic capacity. Studies have shown that rheumatoid arthritis patients who exercise regularly are better able to accomplish daily living activities.
Our bodies were meant to move! We need exercise and movement to have optimal wellness – both mentally and physically. When it comes to healing – regular activity and physical exercise are hard to beat!
Combining regular physical exercise with a healthy, whole foods dietary lifestyle forms a powerful tool for physical healing, building optimal health and energy, and reaching ideal weight without ‘dieting’. Are you ready to utilize this dynamic combination to increase your health and energy? Contact me, and let’s set up an individualized plan that is unique to you!
Copyright © 2014 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved