Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Improve your Immune System with Exercise

If you followed every faddy diet going you’d be running around in circles so much you’d fall over! One moment you’re reading that oats are good for you, then you read it’s not. Same goes for protein and fat. But the one thing that everyone agrees on is that exercise is essential and can help give your immune system a boost.

The role of exercise in helping to lower stress – and the subsequent beneficial effects on health – has been widely studied. Here the studies are less clear, contradicting one another in some details. But overall the conclusion is the same: moderate, regular exercise helps the immune system by moderating the effects of stress.

What is clearly understood after 30 years of research, is that high amount of stress affects overall health. If you’re stressed and under pressure then you’ll be more prone to colds, fatigue and digestive problems. Also if you are stressed then you won’t be getting a deep sleep which somewhat compounds the problem.

An Outlet for Stress

Regular exercise helps relieve stress. It does so directly, by providing an outlet for, and consuming much of, the nervous energy produced by stress. It also helps indirectly by shifting one’s focus away from the external factors producing the stress.

When my mum had a personal trainer she used to do a lot of boxing as part of her warm up. She was told to imagine that she was punching some one she hates. Is there any one in your life causing you grief that you’d like to give a good “thump”? If so get yourself a punching bag and feel the stress dissipate.

Cardiovascular System and Toxins

Exercise can help the cardiovascular system, which in turn improves blood flow, carries away toxins from muscles and organs, and helps keep the kidneys and endocrine system working well. It helps remove germs and circulate antibodies.

All those promote a healthy immune system by lessening the body’s susceptibility to disease, while increasing the robustness of the immune system itself.

By exercising you’ll also be increasing your body’s temperature, enough to help keep away cols and flu. The increased temperature also helps kill the infecting organisms.

A study at the University of Colorado, Boulder suggests that moderate exercise helps prevent colds as well. It showed that individuals are less likely to get sick after stressful situations when they had engaged in a regular program of moderate exercise. Those that began exercise only on the same day as the stressor didn’t enjoy those benefits.

The study was carried out on rats, but one of the reasons those mammals are used is the similarity in some systems, and their responses, to humans. Oh how I pity these poor little lab rats.

Many people start an exercise program with the sole purpose of improving their body image. Try not to let this be the only reason for exercising; there are so many more benefits to be enjoyed than simply looking good on the beach.

Whether the effects are direct or indirect, exercising can help you support and enhance your immune system. That leads directly to better overall health.

Natural Treatment For Cellulite

Okay, Okay, there isn’t a magic cure for cellulite. Cellulite being the horrible, ugly, lumpy fat deposits found on many of women’s legs, thighs and even stomachs. Most women want it gone and are willing to pay big money to try any product that claims to be the “miracle in a bottle.” The questions these ladies need to ask themselves are “Is it worth the money?” and “What really works?

The miracle in a bottle

It would be great if there was exactly that. One product that makes it all better. However, like most things dealing with our health, we will not find the cure in a magic potion. While there are several creams that claim to help with cellulite, none are proven to miraculously get rid of the appearance of cellulite.

There are some ingredients in the creams that are supposed to be the key in cellulite reduction. For instance , creams containing caffeine are said to increase blood flow. Retinol is suppose to increase collagen production, which in turn will make the skin thicker and cellulite less visible. Products with vitamins such as E and C, which are both antioxidants, may also play a key role. Exfoliating could also help by removing dry, dead layers of skin. Finally, there is DMAE, a chemical which is suppose to stimulate the muscles to contract and in turn become firmer. None of these, of course, are scientifically proven.

Diet and Exercise

Yes, that’s right. Diet and exercise are by far the most effective way to reduce cellulite. When we exercise on a regular bases, our health not only will increase but our overall appearance will improve as well. As we exercise, our muscles will begin to tone up. As that happens, the cellulite will become less noticeable. Cardio exercise will help to increase your heart rate which in turn will work to decrease our body fat. Weight training will increase muscle tone giving us an all over firm body and our muscles will in turn help burn fat.

Along with exercise is diet. When you change to a healthy, low fat diet along with exercise, you will gain energy, lose weight and decrease fat. The key to a healthy diet is limiting your fat and sugar intake. Eat more veggies, fruits and drink lots of water.

The Bad News and the Good

For the bad news. Cellulite is inherited for the most part. Meaning if our mothers or grandmothers have it, you probably will too. Your predisposition to cellulite is what will determine how noticeable it is and how difficult it is to exercise away.

The good news is that by changing a few simple things, you may be able to greatly reduce the appearance of cellulite. For example, taking a daily twenty minute walk around your neighborhood will increase your heart rate and burn calories. Drinking water will help to decrease appetite. Replacing soda, coffee, or fruit juices with water will decrease calorie intake.

How to Avoid Sports and Exercising Injuries

Many people working out at the gym will tell you “no pain, no gain”. But what does that actually mean? First of all it’s important to push yourself beyond your “comfort zone” otherwise you won’t increase muscle or stamina. In doing this you may feel out of breath or tired, however if you start to feel sharp pains then take these as a warning that something is wrong.

When you use your muscles more than you would normally on a day-to-day basis you’ll experience lactic acid and micro-tears which happens when your muscles are being built up.

If you’re having pain in you back, neck, knee joints amongst other symptoms you should always consult an expert. There could be a variety of reasons why you’re experiencing pain. Perhaps your technique is wrong or you are overdoing it. Alternatively you might have a medical problem that needs attention.

Warm Up and Stretching is Often Ignored

You need to ease yourself into any workout. First of all you need to warm up your blood and get your heart pumping by either running, rowing or cycling for 10 -15 minutes. After that you should spend about 10 – 15 minutes stretching.

Stretching is one of the areas most people ignore or don’t pay enough attention too. If you have tight muscles you can do yourself some serious injuries. Last year my mum had a personal trainer at the gym who tested all her muscles for flexibility and wouldn’t let her go onto any other exercises until she was suitably flexible.

Her trainer lent us a book called Sport Stretch: 311 Stretches for 41 Sportswhich as the title suggest has lots of stretching routines you can do for the various sports/exercises you do. If you follow the “all star” stretches then you will have stretched all the main muscles in your body.

If you have suffered an injury always take advice from an expert because if you start training too quickly you could do yourself even more damage!

If you’re new to exercising then get advice from a trainer to make sure you are doing all your exercises correctly. Some of the equipment at the gym can also be quite confusing to adjust so it’s always better to ask for help rather than struggle on your own.

Stay within your comfort zone as you gradually expand it. One of the foremost reasons people give up on workouts is injuries produced by working beyond their capacity. That makes working out no longer fun. Building up, while you build out, to increase your ability to do more, faster will keep you going for years to come.

Your health will thank you for exercising common sense, while you exercise your body.