19 Reasons to Exercise. Part 6.

IMG_5816From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Final part of this six part series, which has showcased 19 reasons why you should take up exercise.  Even if it is something you have delayed, put on the back burner you should fire it up again now.  From mind, the main reason people give up on their exercise regime is motivation.  This is where KERRIE FITNESS and small group training comes into play.  Leave the motivation to Kerrie, you only need to show up to reap all the benefits that have been discussed over the duration of this series.

REDUCES ABSENTEEISM. You may feel like taking time off work to go to the gym is a luxury you can’t afford, but by improving your overall health, exercise can help you ward off both acute and chronic illness. You’ll get fewer colds, be less prone to the flu, and avoid the accidents or surgical interventions that can force you to take prolonged absences. In a tough economy, you need every edge you can get, and by showing up for work every day, you’ll maintain that edge over your absentee-prone non-exercising co-workers.

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BOOSTS MEMORY. The effects of exercise on many of your bodily systems ultimately pays off in improving your cognitive functioning. There are now volumes of studies on humans as well as lab animals showing that regular physical exercise helps your neurons stay in shape particularly in the memory areas of your brain. You don’t even have to exert yourself that much to experience this memory boost. Moderate walking can help your brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, maintain its health and vitality. Memory also benefits from a general lowering of cortisol, the stress hormone, associated with the improved mood and anxiety levels you experience from your regular workouts.

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BUILDS INTELLIGENCE. Along with memory, your intellectual skills benefit from regular physical activity. It also helps if you can build in some mental activity as well. As oxygen flows more freely to your brain, not only does your hippocampus benefit but so does the part of your brain involved in planning and reasoning (the prefrontal cortex). Mental activity, particularly involvement in exercises that require you to respond quickly, also boosts your intelligence and even your ability to carry out activities of daily living.

IMG_5834LOWERS DEMENTIA RISK. Exercise lowers your chances for developing dementia based on cardiovascular illness because you’re improving the flow of blood throughout your body, including your brain. Because dementia due to cardiovascular disease is hard to distinguish from other forms of dementia, it’s hard to say that exercise could actually slow or prevent the neuron death responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. However, by preserving the neurons in your brain, exercise can give you an added advantage should you develop this otherwise untreatable disease. It’s even possible that exercise can help slow or prevent Alzheimer’s disease by improving your glucose and fat metabolism because some of the brain alterations found in Alzheimer’s disease may be due to abnormalities in these processes. For example, researchers have found recently that lowering a person’s risk for diabetes can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s possible that lack of a healthy lifestyle may have led the illness to develop in many older adult sufferers today. To the extent that middle-agers are now more likely to exercise than were their parents, we may actually see fewer people developing dementia in the coming years.

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I hope that before you’ve made it through all 19 of these reasons, you’ve put on your sneakers and decided to go to your local fitness studio to find out about classes. No matter what your age, exercise can help you achieve greater physical and mental fulfillment. See if you can add to this list of 19 reasons by finding your own personal formula for exercise success!

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

19 Reasons to Exercise. Part 5.

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From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Part 5

IMPROVES MOOD. It’s a well-kept secret that people who exercise regularly also have lower risk of depression. Our pill-popping culture tends to emphasize medical interventions for psychological disorders over behavioural treatments. Exercise is one of these behavioural treatments. Aerobic exercise improves your mood by causing your body’s endorphins to kick in. These are the natural “feel good” neurotransmitters that start to exert their effects after about 20 minutes of training. These regular exercise-related boosts eventually improve your overall mental health over the long term.

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LOWERS ANXIETY. Related to exercise’s effects on mood are its effects on your levels of anxiety. As your levels of endorphins increase, your feelings of worry also start to diminish. When you exercise, you also refocus your attention from your daily problems to the workout itself. You can gain a fresh perspective on even the most preoccupying concerns in your life by taking an exercise break. When you return to these daily problems, you approach them with renewed energy and even some new ways to figure out solutions.

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FEELS LIKE FUN. If you find the kind of exercise that fits your personality and motivational needs, you can actually have a good time while your body does the work. Some people need to exercise in a group class because they enjoy the social opportunities it provides. Others prefer to have time to themselves away from the stress of work and family. Whatever your exercise style, once you get into a routine, you’ll find that the activity itself becomes rewarding. Perhaps it’s those endorphins or the benefits of social support from your gym-mates. Whatever the cause, long-term exercisers love this natural “high” and wouldn’t give it up for anything. Once you get to that point, exercise enriches the quality of life.

 

 

19 Reasons to Exercise. Part 4.

From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Part four of

  1. REDUCES THE RISK OF ARTHRITIS. The most commonly experienced chronic illness in middle-aged and older adults, arthritis occurs due to abnormalities in the cartilage and outgrowth of bones in the joints. Unlike the other physical benefits of exercise, reducing the chances of arthritis doesn’t depend on heavy duty activity or even weight training. In fact, you may actually heighten your risk of arthritis if you do too much of the wrong kind of exercise. Running on the pavement, particularly in shoes that aren’t appropriately cushioned, can cause you to be more likely to get arthritis. Instead, you need to engage in stretching and flexibility training to increase the range of movement of your joints. This will lower your risk of injury through muscle tears or torn ligaments, and in the process protect your joints from damage caused by overuse.
  2. IMPROVES SEX LIFE. Keeping your muscles active through use helps promote the demands placed on your endocrine glands to produce more hormones. With more muscle mass comes greater stimulation to produce androgens which help both men and women maintain their sexual functioning. You are also likely to feel more fit and be more fit, which in turn will benefit your interest in and ability to carry out sexual activity. Your emotional resilience will also be greater if you exercise, which also benefits your relationship health.
  3. BRINGS ABOUT BETTER SLEEP. Although sleep experts recommend that you not exercise right before you go to bed, exercise during the day benefits your sleep at night. The physical exertion you engage in during the day helps your body’s circadian rhythm keep in tune. Sleeping better at night also improves, in turn, your immune functioning and even lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairment. A win-win for sure!

 

19 Reasons to Exercise. Part 3.

From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Part three of

Further to the previous article here are some more reasons why you should immerse yourself in SGT (Small Group Training).

  1. BUILDS MUSCLE MASS. Resistance training also builds your muscles. In fact, the tension of your muscles against your bones is what also helps your bones get the maximum benefit of weight lifting. If you don’t engage in regular weight-lifting, you’ll lose muscle strength at the rate of – guess what—1 percent per year. If you do, you can cut this – guess again—in half. In fact, the process of “sarcopenia,” which refers to normal loss of muscle strength with age, is best reversed by this type of exercise. Keeping your muscles strong also helps you stay more aerobically fit and helps you maintain a healthy lean (or fat-free) body mass.
  2. IMPROVES BREATHING. Aging affects the tissues of the lung in some ways that can’t be changed by exercise. However, exercise can improve your breathing by strengthening the muscles that help your lungs open up to bring in oxygen and compress to push out carbon dioxide. Exercise also improves the efficiency with which oxygen permeates the cells of your body through its effects on aerobic capacity. While the non-exercisers will have to stop their workout to catch a breath, you’ll be able to push on past them due to this greater efficiency of your breathing capacity.
  3. BOOSTS YOUR ENERGY. Because your body is functioning more efficiently, you’ve got more oxygen to fuel your body’s cells. You also feel fewer aches and pains and have greater strength. As a result, you can go about your daily activities feeling less fatigued, stressed, and weary. Although going to the gym early in the morning or late in the afternoon may feel like the last thing you have energy to do, once you build exercise into your daily routines, these workout bouts will actually seem less tiresome because you’ll feel more mentally and physically capable of carrying them out.

19 Reasons to Exercise. Part 2.

From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Following on from last week the next three reasons to exercise are:

  1. MAINTAINS IMMUNE FUNCTIONING. Your immune system is what protects you from infection and other chemical toxins. The immune system also plays a role in maintaining a healthy response to stress (more on this later). Although for many years, researchers talked about “immune senescence” as an inevitable result of aging, we now know that the studies showing these inevitable declines were conducted on people who didn’t exercise. Even short-term exercise programs can reverse some of the deleterious effects of aging on this sensitive, complex, and crucial regulatory system which controls so much of your everyday health.
  2. REDUCES BODY FAT. Your BMI, or body mass index, provides an approximate measure of your overall metabolic status. To calculate yours, go to the Centers for Disease Control website. If you’re in the overweight to obese categories now, a regular program of aerobic exercise can bring your BMI down to normal levels mainly by swapping the fat for the fat-free tissues in your body. The good news is that the more you exercise, the more you are able to work off your body fat because muscle “burns off” more calories, effectively speeding up your metabolism.
  3. KEEPS BONES STRONG. Another normal age-related change is the loss of bone mineral strength. Here again, the magic number of a 1 percent loss per year seems to be the considered wisdom of how fast our body’s bones get thinner and weaker. Once again, though, exercise is the key to maintaining your bone’s health. The specific form of exercise required for bone strength involves resistance training in which you lift weights. The amount of resistance training varies according to your age and physical strength, but it’s got to be more than just picking up a gallon of milk and moving it from the grocery bag to the fridge. You need to spend no less than an hour a week of increasingly strenuous weight-lifting until you reach your maximum potential.

KERRIE FITNESS – The simple things – Enjoy them!

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make the fondest memories. Never be too caught up in your own life to stop and enjoy great places, views and friends.

Along with enjoying life, enjoy your health.  Come and work out with Kerrie “LIVE” at her own studio KERRIE FITNESS in Campbelltown NSW.

You can also download your own digital class at www.kerriefitness.com.au

KERRIE FITNESS – Top 10 Reasons Women Should Hit the Weights.

Shana Verstegen is an ACE-certified personal trainer and an American Council on Exercise National Fitness Expert.
Strength training is an important part of improving your overall fitness, and for women, it can mean much more. In addition to numerous health benefits, adding weights to your routine can become a form of personal development that builds strength in all areas of life. When I was a teenager, my grandmother used to tell me to stop lifting weights—it wasn’t lady-like, and the weight room should be a place for men. Several years later, she developed serious osteoporosis that put her in a wheelchair. Although most of the lessons she taught me were valuable, we eventually came to the mutual agreement that lifting weights is a wonderful thing for women to do. Today, more and more women are recognizing the benefits of spending time in the weight room.

The Bottom line is get your bottom to KERRIE FITNESS and train with Kerrie “LIVE”.

Also download your digital class today at www.kerriefitness.com.au

KERRIE FITNESS – 6 Benefits of Group Fitness Classes

When people first join a gym, they’re often unsure what they should do once they step inside the building. Some struggle to determine which exercises to do, others simply don’t know how to do them. Whether you’re a beginner at the gym or you just don’t have much fitness knowledge, group fitness classes may be your solution. Joining a class can help build a foundation and structure that you can use to fuel your personal health journey for years to come.

1. Motivation

It’s inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by dedicated, like-minded individuals. It doesn’t get much more empowering than a class with an encouraging instructor and supportive people all working hard together. Group fitness is a great way to help motivate yourself and others to dig deeper and push harder in workouts.

2. Structure

Group fitness is a great way to get a workout in without having to think or plan. Each class is structured with a warm-up, a balanced workout and a cool-down.

The warm-up is designed to help you properly raise your heart rate while loosening your joints and muscles before jumping into strenuous activity. The instructor will coach you through each segment of the workout. The cool-down will help you safely lower your heart rate and stretch all the major muscles worked during class.

3. Proper Form

It’s the fitness instructor’s job to not only show proper form, but to also make sure that everyone in the class is executing each exercise the right way. Not only is proper form important for your muscles to reap the most out of every exercise, but it also helps eliminate potential injuries.

4. Variety

Cardio kickboxing, bootcamp, spin, Pilates, Insanity–the list goes on. There are several types of group classes offered by gyms and athletic clubs.

Having a variety of classes in your weekly workout regimen is a great way to create muscle confusion, which keeps your body guessing and ramps up your metabolism. It also helps prevent boredom.

5. Accountability

Some facilities require members to sign up in advance for specific classes. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable for your workouts. If you’re signed up and it’s on your schedule, there’s a good chance you won’t skip it. If your gym doesn’t require you to sign up, find a few classes that you want to take and invite a friend or pencil it in on your calendar.

6. Fun

There’s really no other way to put it: Group fitness classes are fun. Between the upbeat music, a great workout and a group of people motivating each other along the way, it’s an enjoyable way to exercise. If you’re looking to add a little more pizazz and fun in your fitness life, group classes may be just what you need.

So come and see what this group fitness is all about.  Train with Kerrie “LIVE” at her studio in Campbelltown NSW KERRIE FITNESS.

Also, you can download your own digital class at www.kerriefitness.com.au

 

 

KERRIE FITNESS -Stay Motivated to Workout With Group Fitness.

Your long training season is just underway and already you’re struggling to stick with it. The solution might be standing right beside you. Whether it’s a running club, a spin class at the gym, or a group cycling adventure, exercise partners can help motivate endurance athletes and fitness junkies to get out of a training rut.

Experts agree that working out in a group can encourage a person to begin an exercise routine in the first place, as well as keep them committed in the long term. A review published in the Journal of Medicine and Sciences in Sport and Exercise identified a number of studies that link social support with exercise adherence.

“Having someone to experience the workout with can help keep them motivated,” says Cindra Kamphoff, a certified sport psychology consultant at The Runner’s Edge in Mankato, Minnesota. “By knowing others are experiencing this same thing, it normalizes the pain and discomfort that can be a part of exercise.”

Group exercise has its challenges. But the pros often far outweigh logistical hurdles and other complications. If you’re looking to start an exercise routine for the first time, or reignite your passion for a sport or fitness regimen, try to recruit a few friends or join an organized club, group or organization. When it comes to working out, there’s strength in numbers.

Challenges to Group Exercise

  • Size: If a group is too big, you can end up feeling lost in the crowd. Rather than being motivated, the group allows you to get away with giving less than your all. Be sure to find a group that provides some individual attention.
  • Bad Instructors: While most coaches and teachers are good at what they do, you may need to shop around to find the best fit. Find an instructor who will motivate, not frustrate, you.
  • Waning Confidence: Joining a group can take some guts, especially if you’re new to the sport or activity. Look for a supportive, likeminded group to cut down on your anxiety.
  • Lack of Options: Depending on where you live, group exercise options can be limited. Don’t let the lack of a group stop you. Instead, consider starting your own.

Benefits of Group Exercise

  • Accountability: You’re less likely to skip a workout if you work out with friends in an organized group.
  • Camaraderie: Working out with a group turns exercise into a social activity. It’s no longer a chore, but a healthy getaway that you might just start to look forward to.
  • Identity: When you workout with others, the activity tends to form a link with your identity. The group builds, feeds, and maintains that image you’ve created. Ultimately, it can help you stick with your routine.
  • Competition: Friendly competition can help motivate you to exercise even on the days you don’t feel like working out. You’re less likely to skip a workout if you know your competition will be waiting for you.
  • Encouragement: On the days you’re feeling sick or unmotivated, the group often picks up the slack and helps restart your engine.
  • Enjoyment: Working out alone can get boring and suddenly you’re not having fun anymore. Sharing your training experience with others—both the challenges and triumphs—can increase the enjoyment of the activity or training routine.

Come and reap the benefits of Group Fitness Training with Kerrie, two time winner of Instructor of the Year Les Mills Australia Asia Pacific region (2008 and 2014) and winner of 2018 Local Business Awards “Most Outstanding Fitness Services” for the Campbelltown area. Visit KERRIE FITNESS today.

Further your levels of fitness by downloading your copy of Kerries Digital Classes at www.kerriefitness.com.au

 

KERRIE FITNESS – It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising.

  • Being active four-to-five times a week improves people’s heart flexibility
  • Previous research links stiff, hardened heart muscles to life-threatening attacks
  • Exercising three times a week does little to protect heart health from aging
  • People should incorporate this into their routines like brushing their teeth
  • Heart disease causes around one in four deaths every year in the US 

Five half-an-hour workouts a week is the ‘sweet spot’ for reducing middle-aged cough potatoes’ heart attack risk, new research reveals.

Being active four-to-five times every seven days significantly improves middle-aged people’s heart muscle flexibility, a study found today. Stiff, hardened muscles have previously been linked to heart attacks.

Study author Dr Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said: ‘We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week, and the “sweet spot” in time, when the heart risk from a lifetime of sedentary behavior can be improved – which is late-middle age.

‘We’ve also found that the “sweet spot” in life to get off the couch and start exercising is in late-middle age, when the heart still has plasticity.’

The researchers believe inactive, middle-aged people should slot exercise into their routine in the same way they do brushing their teeth or showering.

Heart disease is responsible for around one in four deaths every year in the US. In the UK, more than two-and-a-half million adults are living with the condition, which raises their risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.

How the research was carried out 

The researchers analyzed 53 healthy, sedentary people with an average age of 53.

Of which, 34 completed two years of exercise training, while the remainder participated in yoga and balance training.

The participants exercising more rigorously started with three half-an-hour moderate activity sessions for the first three months, which caused them to break a sweat but still allowed them to hold a conversation.

Two high-intensity, half-hour workouts were added to their regimens after 10 months.

A catheter was guided through all of the participants’ pulmonary arteries to observe their blood flow and measure the pressure in their hearts.

Scans of their hearts’ structures were also taken.

The participants’ rate of oxygen consumption was taken to determine any change in the quality of their fitness.

‘People should be able to do this as part of their personal hygiene’

Results reveal, after two years of exercise, middle-aged people’s oxygen intake during activity increases by 18 percent, while their heart muscle flexibility is boosted by 25 percent.

Dr Levine said: ‘Based on a series of studies performed by our team over the past five years, this “dose” of exercise has become my prescription for life.

‘We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week, and the “sweet spot” in time, when the heart risk from a lifetime of sedentary behavior can be improved – which is late-middle age.’

The researchers found exercising just two-to-three times a week does not significantly protect heart health from aging.

Dr Levine added: ‘But committed exercise four to five times a week was almost as effective at preventing sedentary heart ageing as the more extreme exercise of elite athletes.

‘We’ve also found that the “sweet spot” in life to get off the couch and start exercising is in late-middle age, when the heart still has plasticity.’

‘I think people should be able to do this as part of their personal hygiene – just like brushing your teeth and taking a shower.’

The findings were published in the journal Circulation.

Speaking of finding just 30 minutes, KERRIE FITNESS has digital classes, 30 minutes long.  Head to www.kerriefitness.com.au and download your copy today.