Exercise Gives you More than a Toned Body

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By:  Renée Leonard – Stainton

Now, I’m no personal trainer, supermodel, or ripped athlete, but as a Naturopath, I’m constantly reminded about the importance of staying fit, and I know that exercise is absolutely vital for good health.  We all know this, yet excuses like lack of time, energy, equipment and motivation can be given.

Are these excuses valid?  How important is your health?

While the immediate effect of exercise is stress on the body, with regular exercise, the body adapts; it becomes stronger, functions more efficiently, and has greater endurance.

Your whole body benefits from exercise, largely as a result of improved cardiovascular and respiratory function.  Simply stated, exercise enhances the transport of oxygen and nutrients into cells.

At the same time, it enhances the transport of carbon dioxide and other waste products from the tissues of the body to the bloodstream, and ultimately to the eliminative organs.

At some stage, you’ve probably heard about most of the benefits of exercise that I’ve listed below, but I’ve compiled as many benefits on the different body systems that I can think of into one list – definitely the perfect mind/body remedy.

Musculoskeletal System

  • Increases muscle strength
  • Lessens chance of injury
  • Increases flexibility of muscles and range of motion
  • Produces stronger bones, ligaments and tendons
  • Enhances posture and physique

Heart and Blood Vessels

  • Lowers resting heart rate
  • Strengthens heart function
  • Increases blood supply to muscles
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves oxygen delivery throughout the body

Bodily Processes

  • Improves the way the body handles dietary fat
  • Helps lower blood cholesterol
  • Promotes lean body mass; burns fat
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Improves immune function
  • Aids digestion and elimination
  • Increases endurance and energy levels

Mental Processes

  • Helps reduce tension and anxiety
  • Improves mental outlook and self-esteem
  • Helps relieve moderate depression
  • Improves the ability to handle stress
  • Stimulates improved mental function
  • Induces relaxation and improves sleep
  • Increases self-esteem

Here are a few tips to creating an effective exercise routine:

  1. Recognise the importance of physical exercise maybe print out the list above and put it somewhere that will inspire/motivate you.
  2. Select an activity you enjoyso many to choose from!  Why not suit your mood and mix it up?  Pilates one day, boxing another?
  3. Exercise frequentlya minimum of 30 minutes at least three times a week is necessary to gain any significant cardiovascular benefits from exercise.  Make sure you do schedule at least one rest day a week though.
  4. Make it funif you can find enjoyment in exercise, you’re much more likely to exercise regularly.  I’m always texting my girlfriends to meet up for a ‘walk and talk’ – it’s by far a healthier habit than a coffee and catch/wine and cheese catch up, which still do happen of course, but at least we’re keeping it balanced!
  5. Vary your routinedoing the same thing every day becomes boring and drains motivation.

Imagine… if the benefits of exercise could be put in a pill, you would have the most powerful health-promoting medication available!  However, natural is always best of course, so your healthiest bet will be to just get-a-moving!  The better shape you’re in physically, the greater your odds of enjoying a healthier and longer life.

In fact, researchers have estimated that for every hour of exercise, there is a two-hour increase in lifespan.  Now that’s definitely a valuable return on investment!

Live well, live long, live naturally!

Renée is a Naturopath with a passion for green living.  
As the creator of the popular blog 'Renée Naturally', she 
shares healthy recipes, credible and well-being information
and sustainable living guidance. Renée also contributes to 
various international magazines, radio shows, and blogs
including Miranda Kerr's 'KORA Organics'. 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ReneeNaturally
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ReneeNaturally
Website: http://www.reneenaturally.com

Motivation to Exercise

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Get Outta Bed and Move your Body

Exercise Elevates Mood and Destroys Fatigue

Regular exercise combats stress, fights depression, boosts confidence, and diminishes anxiety.  You can thank endorphins for that.  Your body releases chemicals called endorphins that turn frowns upside down.  This euphoric high gives you energy and motivation to continue living life to its fullest.  Best of all, this happy feeling lasts long after a workout session.

Just one exercise session increases circulation and mental focus.  It works much better than a cup of coffee!  You will see your body changing after one month of consistent exercising.  Not to mention – exercise enhances strength – making you as strong as the Hulk.  Well, not exactly, but almost.  🙂

Here are some pictures that will hopefully inspire you to put on your trainers, start sweating and eat more raw food.

- Vivien Veil

exercise quote

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Smoothie Ingredients
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Biltong Salad Picture for FB
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male fitness quote



Six Ways to Destroy your Migraine

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By: JB Bardot

Migraine sufferers are often anxious to rid themselves of the terrible pain characterizing this condition. Health-conscious individuals choose natural treatments to avoid drug side effects. Many migraine sufferers don’t realize the certain foods and chemicals may have on their systems, contributing to the development of migraines, or to their resolution. Diet, herbs and supplements can provide natural relief to some migraine patients.

FOOD ADDITIVES AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

Eliminate food additives and artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners, preservatives and flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), are known to create severe reactions in some people, triggering migraine headaches.

Sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and Splenda can be replaced with stevia, a naturally sweet herb with no known side effects and no calories. 92 symptoms of aspartame toxicity were submitted to the FDA in 2002. For a time, aspartame products were recalled by the FDA after numerous side effects were reported; however, the product was allowed back on the market, where it continues to cause a constellation of problems for consumers.

LAVENDER

Lavender is used by herbalists to soothe jangled nerves and has an analgesic effect on migraine sufferers. Lavender reduces the inflammation that occurs in blood vessels during a migraine, and relieves spasms in the muscles of the neck, around the eyes and in the scalp. Place dried lavender flowers in sachets or herbal hot packs to use when headaches start. Alternatively, make a tea by steeping one teaspoon of the dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Sip slowly throughout the day. Sweeten if desired.

FOOD TRIGGERS

Avoid specific foods that are known triggers for migraine headaches. Chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, sodas, refined sugars, gluten-containing grains, aged cheeses and peanuts are some of the more common food culprits that may be causing your migraines.

Reintroduce potential problem foods one at a time over a period of weeks to find out which one is causing the problem. Taking these foods out of your diet may feel like a sacrifice; however, if your headaches are eliminated or greatly reduced, then it may be worth it.

TRYPTOPHAN

Add tryptophan to your diet either in supplement form or by eating foods like turkey, which is high in tryptophan. This amino acid stimulates the production of the brain transmitter dopamine, which in turn contributes to the release of serotonin. Migraine relief often results from the flow of serotonin, which elevates moods, relieves anxiety and tension, and relaxes tiny muscles around capillaries in the scalp.

GINGER, PEPPERMINT, CAYENNE PEPPER

Use common household herbs like ginger, peppermint and cayenne pepper to treat a migraine. Ginger or peppermint can also be helpful in reducing the nausea accompanying many migraine headaches. Ginger thins the blood, so it should be used with care if you’re taking blood-thinning medications.

To make an herbal tea, mix the three herbs together. Place a pinch of cayenne pepper, a one inch piece of fresh ginger and a teaspoonful of dried peppermint in two cups boiling water and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the herbs and sweeten with honey to taste. Natural pain relievers in each of these herbs can help ease away your migraine headache.

The herb butterbur makes a nice tea

BUTTERBUR

The herb butterbur was found to reduce the intensity of migraine headaches by lessening inflammation and stabilizing blood flow to the brain. It acts as a beta-blocker, helping to control blood pressure and preventing spasms in the capillaries. Only use butterbur that is labeled PA-Free, ensuring that any harmful toxins have been thoroughly removed from the supplement, making the herb safe for use. Butterbur is also known to relieve numerous allergies, especially those that may contribute to causing headaches.

About the author:

JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine.