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Some pass judgement on their diet and exercise plan by what the bathroom scale reads. But that should not be the case. With regular exercise, we improve many aspects of our health and fitness. Sometimes the benefits are not visible to the naked eye. Here are just a few of the many health benefits of exercise that you receive from lifelong exercise.
Health Benefits of Exercise (Strength & Cardio)
Health Benefits of Strength Training
- Building muscle mass can increase metabolism by 15 percent. This in turn can rev up a sluggish metabolism and improve functional ability. All by performing strength training at least two to three times a week for the rest of your life.
- Strength training slows or prevents sarcopenia – which literally means the “loss of flesh.” We all lose muscle mass as we age – and you can begin to lose muscle around 30 years old. You can also expect to lose muscle at a rate of 10 percent each decade starting at age 50.
- It plays a role in disease prevention – like preventing or managing type 2 diabetes, as an example.
- Helps improve the way you move your body resulting in better balance and less falls as you age (you can reduce your risk for falling by 40 percent).
- An additional health benefit of exercise is – it spares the loss of muscle mass during weight loss (Donnelly et al., 2003).
- Will offset bone loss as you age – women can expect to lose 1 percent of their bone mass after age 35 and this can increase following menopause.
- According to research, individuals who did not strength train lost about 5 to 8 pounds of muscle every ten years, with a by-product being a reduction in metabolism of about 50 calories a day.
- Regular aerobic exercise improves your mood by decreasing stress and anxiety levels – read Exercise for Mood and Anxiety by Michael Otto, Phd and Jasper Smits, PhD.
- Cardio exercise like jogging, hiking, jump roping, etc. will “load” your bones and in turn make them stronger.
- Regular aerobic-type exercise improves heart function, lowers your resting heart rate, and enables your body to deliver oxygen more efficiently to your working muscles.
- Speaking of a lower heart rate, here is a health benefit of exercise many people don’t realize. Decreasing your resting heart rate a small amount can he beneficial. Lowering heart rate from 70 to 60 beats per minute, the heart beats 14,400 less times over the course of a day. by the end of a year, that equates to more than five million less beats!
- The American College of Sports Medicine reports that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness is associated with approximately a 50 percent reduction in disease risk.
Build Strength with the Jefit App
The award-winning Jefit app, was named best app for 2021 by PC Magazine and Men’s Health. It comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong and recover well using Jefit.
Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., Pronk, N., Smith, B.K., Kirk, E.P., Jacobsen, D.J., Washburn, R. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management? Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.
The majority of Americans were classified as unhealthy prior to the pandemic hitting. With many of us self quarantining at home since then, that number, sadly, has probably only increased.
Many people actually think “healthy” refers to how much they weigh or what someones outward appearance looks like. Good overall health, however, starts internally. This is where the term metabolic health comes in. Some also refer to this as metabolic fitness. In any event, metabolic health is the absence of metabolic disease. The numbers in this country are not good. About 88 percent of Americans are considered to have metabolic disease. The good news, though, metabolic health can improve through healthy eating and regular exercise, especially a short walk after meals.
“Flying blind, 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. Using their best judgment, 59% of people say conflicting nutrition information makes them question their choices. Worse, only 12% of all Americans are actually metabolically healthy.”Anthony Vennare – Co-Founder, Fitt Insider
Research on Metabolic Health
In a 2019 study published in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reviewed data from 8,721 adults as reported in the 2009 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They found that just 1 in 8 adults living in United States had optimal metabolic health.
A second study published in 2016 in the journal Circulation, applied seven lifestyle and risk factors criteria from the American Heart Association to national data published between 2011 to 2012. The results found virtually 0% of U.S. adults met all the ideal levels. These levels included: not smoking, having a healthy diet, physical activity, normal weight and total cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose level.
Finally, it has been determined through research that 23 percent of adults have metabolic syndrome. This condition occurs when a person fails to meet at least three of the ideal measurements with things like blood pressure and glucose levels (seen below).
What Constitutes Metabolic Health?
Using most recent guidelines, metabolic health was defined as having optimal levels of the following six criteria.
- Waist Circumference (WC <40/34 inches for men/women respectively).
- Glucose (fasting glucose <100 mg/dl).
- Hemoglobin (A1c <5.7%).
- Blood Pressure (systolic <120 and diastolic <80 mmHg).
- Triglycerides (<150 mg/dl).
- High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (≥40/50 mg/dl for men/women), and not taking any related medication.
Likewise, the International Diabetes Federation, states metabolic unhealthy individuals were defined as those who presented at least one of the following criteria:
- Systolic/Diastolic Blood Pressure ≥130/85 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive drug.
- Triglycerides level ≥150 mg/dl.
- HDL-Cholesterol Level < 40 mg/dl in men or < 50 mg/dl in women or use of lipid-lowering drugs.
- Glucose level ≥100 mg/dl or use of antidiabetic drug.
Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health
A possible tool to help improve metabolic health is intermittent fasting (IF). There has been a great deal of research over the years on the effects of IF on the body, including metabolic health. A review published in the revered New Journal of Medicine by Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D., looked at the powerful effects of IF including glucose regulation that could help your metabolic health cause.
Intermittent fasting elicits evolutionarily conserved, adaptive cellular responses that are integrated between and within organs in a manner that improves glucose regulation, increases stress resistance, and suppresses inflammation. During fasting, cells activate pathways that enhance intrinsic defenses against oxidative and metabolic stress and those that remove or repair damaged molecules.”Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D., and Mark P. Mattson, Ph.D
Therefore, continue to focus on regular exercise each week. Specifically, strength training and various forms of high intensity interval exercise. Mix this into your cardio at least 1-2 times a week. In addition, have your blood profile checked yearly or better yet, every six months to keep a handle on your metabolic health.
Get Strong and Stay Strong with Jefit
Millions of members have had great success using the Jefit app, equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.