Asclepios Wellness & Healing Retreat - , Alajuela, Costa Rica

Benefits of Physical Exercise

Lack of physical activity is responsible of one of ten deaths in the world. Lack of exercise kills as much as smoking or obesity, according to a study published by the Britain medical magazine The Lancet on July, 2012.

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THE WONDERS OF EXERCISE: MOVEMENT IS LIFE!

"It is impossible to talk about health without physical activity"

Incorporate regular physical activity into your life, better if performed outdoors!!!

Try to perform a physical activity that you like, so that you may keep at it. Ideally, you should schedule some moderate physical activity 4 or 5 times a week for at least thirty minutes. Provided that this activity solicits a little more than usual your muscles, breathing and heart.

Humans are not programmed to be inactive. The combination of both accelerated sedentary lifestyle and constant food availability disturbs ancient metabolic processes leading to excessive storage of energy in tissue, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. As a consequence, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and the metabolic syndrome has increased significantly over the last 30 years. A low level of physical activity and decreased daily energy expenditure contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality following atherosclerotic vascular damage. Physical inactivity leads to the accumulation of visceral fat and consequently the activation of the oxidative stress/inflammation cascade, which promotes the development of atherosclerosis and other diseases.

Joseph Mercola states: “Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. Short high-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor.”

Benefits of exercise:

  • Regular physical exercise improves all metabolic functions of the organism, reenergizing it and increasing its energy reserves.
  • It permits the oxygenation of the organism.
  • It stimulates digestion by means of the self-massage of the involved organs.
  • It tones the heart (accelerates the heartbeat, but with lower pressure (contractions) of the heart); lowers arterial tension and protects against coronary diseases.
  • It improves the lung capacity and optimizes the exchange of gases between our cells (our cells breathe).
  • It optimizes blood circulation, benefiting the vein return system by means of diaphragm movement.
  • Stops the acidification of tissues by activating all the organs of elimination (multiplies by 6 the depuration of the organism through transpiration).
  • It increases muscle mass, muscular strength and the mineral density of the bones, and reinforces tendons and ligaments. Less muscle mass generally means less strength, mobility, flexibility and among the elderly, independence. It also has been linked with premature mortality.
  •  It acts in favor of the immune system, the bile, the liver.
  • It oxygenates the brain boosting the brain function. Research indicates that exercise may encourage brains to work at optimum capacity, by causing nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage. Lab tests on animals have shown that when they exercise, their nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. It also decreases your risk of heart and blood vessel diseases that can impact brain function.
  • Exercise makes you smarter. Physical exercise spurs neurogenesis, a finding confirmed by seminal research completed recently. This neurogenesis would seem to be completely laudable, since it occurs mostly in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain associated with memory and thinking. Rodents that have exercised and that have brains fizzing with new neurons tend to score well on tests of memory and cognition, helping to develop a higher capacity for learning and slowing or repairing neural illnesses, which could result in new treatments for those with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or spinal cord injuries. “Our results indicate that vigorous exercise isn’t necessary to protect your mind, walking and other light activity had bought them, essentially, five years of better brainpower. If we can push out the onset of dementia by 5, 10 or more years, that changes the dynamics of aging,” said Dr. Eric Larson, the vice president of research at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle and author of an editorial accompanying these studies.
  • It combats stress and relaxes the mind by the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. It secretes endorphins that activate the natural mechanism of pleasure, acting as a result against depression. Physical exercise has the particularity to secrete in the brain not only the “feel good” hormones like serotonin and endorphins but also dopamine, another neurotransmitter that is involved in mood regulation. To move your body is a way to resist depression, not only it takes away anxiety but in addition, it acts on fatigue. We are like a battery: we are charged by movement and uncharged by inactivity.
  • It is a very beneficial treatment against anxiety, by helping to balance the nervous system.
  • Physical exercise helps you feel well and full of life, contributing to increase your self-esteem.
  • The regular practice of physical exercise increases the duration of deep sleep approximately in 20%: the sleep that allows the body to regenerate!!!
  • Physical exercises increases libido.
  • Exercise prevents type 2 diabetes helping to increase the level of chrome in tissues and improving the capacity of the organism to use the available insulin. Also the greater the muscular mass the lower quantity of insulin needed to carry blood glucose to the tissues.
  • Exercise helps you lose weight increasing the basal metabolism. Weight-lifting or resistance exercise increases the muscular mass. In view of the fact that the muscle requires more calories than the fat, the result is an increase in the metabolic rate (basal metabolism). In other words, more calories are burnt, making easier to lose weight.
  • It has an impact on the endocrine system and the prostaglandin rate by reducing bad cholesterol.
  • Physical activity prevents and increases the life of patients with hormone-dependent cancer. The explanation is simple: physical exercise diminishes the mass of fat where estrogens are developed. Such substances stimulate the production of cancerous cells. Physical activity helps to balance the levels of estrogens in the blood, thus preventing PMS and diseases such as endometriosis.
  • Physical activity possesses atheroprotective properties. Exercise prevents plaque development and induces the regression of coronary stenosis. Furthermore, experimental studies have revealed that exercise prevents the conversion of plaques into a vulnerable phenotype, thus preventing the appearance of fatal lesions.
  • Exercise helps to prevent diseases such as obesity, infarcts, strokes, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as walking) every day can reduce the risk of such diseases. Regular physical activity might increase the spam of life of the world’s population by 0,68% per year. Dr I-Min Lee (Harvard Medical School of Boston) explains that 6 to 10% of the four non transmissible maladies (cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers) would have been associated with the lack of practicing less than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
  • Summarizing, exercise boosts resistance, strength, vitality, health, beauty, brain function and longevity keeping how we age under control!

Marisia Jiménez, N. D.



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