Itís not just about keeping your weight down
Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Fitting into your favourite pair of jeans or taking off a few extra pounds should not be your only motivator to hit the gym. Exercise has profound mental and physical effects on the body that will not only keep you lean but also happier and healthier.
Boosts your mood
Every time you exercise your body produces endorphins. These positive mood boosting chemicals linger in your system even after you are finished. This is the brain chemistry behind a runner’s high! High energy exercise can be a great outlet for frustration and stress while all forms of exercise help reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Improves your sleep
Provided that you do not exercise right before bed, exercise can help you combat insomnia or generally experience better quality sleep. Because exercise functions as a physical stressor to the body, the brain compensates by increasing deep sleep.
Increases your energy
Better sleep isn’t the only way you will feel more vital. Exercise helps to increase the haemoglobin concentration in your blood. Haemoglobin helps to deliver oxygen to tissue so your brain and muscles have more of what they need to function even when you are at rest. The heart is a muscle that gets worked out every time you exercise. The more efficient your heart becomes, the more energy you have to spare for the rest of your body!
Enhances your sex life
Regular exercise not only helps to increase the body’s endorphin levels but it also helps to increase its natural production of testosterone. Not only will exercise give you more energy and stamina, but testosterone will help to increase your sex drive and increased blood flow can help your arousal!
Helps you heart
With more and more women suffering from cardiovascular disease, exercise is a key element in protecting your heart. Not only will it help keep your blood pressure down and make your heart more efficient but activity can also help to reduce blood levels of triglyceride (bad fat).
Keeps your bones healthy
Women often take their bone health for granted until it’s too late. Now is the time to lay the foundation for strong bones. Weight bearing activity helps to strengthen bones and reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
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