Are you starting your new year off right with a resolution to lose weight and get healthier. In Calgary, Canada, many of my clients choose exercise as a way to lose weight, and then find along the way they gain fitness as well. Exercising on a regular basis not only helps you burn calories, it also helps build muscle tissue. More muscle can aid you in achieving your weight loss goals, plus has other benefits you’ll appreciate. It can add more healthy years to your life as well.
It all starts in the kitchen.
While I’m a huge advocate of exercise, or I wouldn’t be doing what I do, I know that healthy eating should be part of your program for weight loss. Healthy eating isn’t dieting, but about making smarter choices when selecting food. Rather than eating high calorie, highly processed food, you focus on eating whole foods, such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and lean meat. Not only will you lose weight, you’ll boost your nutrition and remove unhealthy toxins from your diet. Foods with added sugar can reduce your chances of losing weight and increase the potential for serious conditions. You can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet.
A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Regular exercise improves your heart in several ways. As a muscle, the heart benefits from exercise like any muscle does. It helps it function at its best. If you do cardio or any type of workout that gets your heart beating harder, it helps improve the efficiency of the heart. Improved efficiency means it pumps more blood in one beat, which allows it to pump slower and helps lower blood pressure. When you exercise, it also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and improve good ones.
Reduce the risk of diabetes and its predecessor, insulin resistance.
Exercise helps your body maintain normal blood sugar levels and can reduce or reverse insulin resistance, which is the predecessor of diabetes. If you have insulin resistance, it can make losing weight even harder. Good mental health is important and exercise can burn the hormones of stress and replace them with ones that make you feel good. It also has been used in treating depression and anxiety. In fact, one study found it was better than psychotropic medications.
When you keep your muscles strong, you keep your bones strong. Studies show that exercise can help reduce bone loss and even reverse it. In fact, it’s better than some medications for osteoporosis.
Nobody wants to fall and injure themselves, which is another good reason to exercise. It helps improve balance, strength and flexibility. Those things help reduce injury and prevent falls.
You’ll improve your neural pathways in your brain and make your brain quicker when you workout. It helps improve hormone levels in the brain, such as serotonin, while boosting cognitive thinking.
Reduce the plaque and oxidation in your blood vessels by boosting the production of nitric oxide in the endothelial cells of the arteries. How do you boost nitric oxide? With exercise, of course.