Physical activity is essential to health. Did you know that there are approximately 206 bones, 639 skeletal muscles, and 360 joints in the human body? These all have one major function. Movement! Frequent exercise is a necessary ingredient for your body to function well. Exercise is just as important as sleep, food, and water. Without adequate exercise, the body will not function well. The result may be pain, chronic diseases, or even loss of mobility. Here are a few key things that physical exercise can help with.
Control Your Weight
Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in controlling your weight. You gain weight when the calories you burn, including those burned during physical activity, are less than the calories you eat or drink. Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. But following the Guidelines and getting at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can put you at a lower risk for these diseases. You can reduce your risk even further with more physical activity. Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
Reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which you have some combination of too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar. Research shows that lower rates of these conditions are seen with 120 to 150 minutes (2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of at least moderate-intensity aerobic activity. And the more physical activity you do, the lower your risk will be. Already have type 2 diabetes? Regular physical activity can help control your blood glucose levels.
Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers
Being physically active lowers your risk for two types of cancer: colon and breast. Research shows that: Physically active people have a lower risk of colon cancer than do people who are not active. Physically active women have a lower risk of breast cancer than do people who are not active.
Improve Your Mental Health and Mood
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can help give you these mental health benefits.
5 Healthy Fitness Tips
1. Lift weights and your spirits - Studies show that even a little bit of exercise can affect mood-controlling in your brain.
2. Mix it up - Missed your daily workout? DO strength training during commercial breaks of your favorite tv show. Lunges, squats, and crunches.
3. Change your scenery - Ditch the treadmill for some new terrain and explore a new path in your neighborhood.
4. Take a Class - The fact that you pay for it will push you to get your money’s worth and the energy from others will boost your own.
5. Buddy up - Working out with a friend is a great way to stick with a fitness routine.
Creamed Kale over Rice
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
2 bunches of kale, tough stems, and center ribs removed, and leaves coarsely chopped
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups frozen peas
3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups cooked wild, brown, or white rice
In a large covered skillet, water sauté the kale, mushrooms, onion, and peas over medium
heat, until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and add water as needed.
Meanwhile, blend the cashews, milk, and onion flakes in a food processor or high-powered
blender until smooth and creamy.
Stir cashew cream sauce into kale mixture.
Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!