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Need Some Fitness Motivation? Check the Benefits

By Sandy Schroeder

As the holiday momentum builds, our exercise intentions often get swallowed up in the commotion, but the evidence supporting exercise is becoming harder to ignore as researchers tell us how much it helps the body and the brain.

If you are still lagging, check these key benefits of exercise from and see your doctor to choose the best exercises for you.

Fight inflammation – This is a powerhouse that fights certain cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative issues. Inflammation is a core cause of many diseases, and exercise helps many of the body’s organs and systems fight back. As an example, a new study found a 20-minute low level treadmill workout produced improvements in the immune system. 

Help the heart – Exercise is vital to the heart, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving circulation. Heart research focusing on the amount of exercise needed continues, but studies suggest 30 minutes of daily exercise may be a good way to help the heart stay healthy.

Grow new brain cells – Current research indicates the brain can grow new neurons as it is assisted by aerobic exercise and meditation. The hippocampus, which is the center for memory and learning, seems to be the most receptive to this new cell growth, which could lead to more help with dementia.

Fight aging – The Mayo Clinic reports older individuals who had not been exercising found similar positive effects to those achieved by younger, more fit participants. Their research favored interval training over weight lifting or other moderate exercises. More research will be done to pinpoint the best exercises.

Fight depression – As researchers continue to look for ways to deal with depression, exercise has proven to be an effective choice to help individuals cope. Studies have also shown inactivity can be a contributor to depression.

The Battle Goes On

Researchers are continuing to explore the role of exercise in health. As new studies emerge, one researcher suggests, “Every little bit helps. Most research shows there is no lower threshold for health benefits.”

That could be a wakeup call for all of us to push ourselves away from the desk or get up off the couch to get going. Start with a morning walk, add one after lunch, and walk with your kids and the dog at night. Without even trying, you could hit that 30-minute per day mark, and you might begin to see a difference. Weight loss, mood lifts, and better numbers in your next checkout might encourage you to keep right on going. New research will tell us even more, but right now the evidence says whatever you do will count.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Missouri City, Tex.

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