Feb 6, 2017

Shannan’s Monthly Blog – February

Being physically active every day is essential for your overall health and well-being. There is growing evidence which supports that exercise goes far beyond building muscle, maintaining/losing weight and improving physical appearance. In fact, more and more GP’s and other health practitioners are prescribing exercise as part of medical treatment for various serious health conditions.

As a personal trainer with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, I can’t tell you how excited I am that this trend has really begun to emerge in mainstream healthcare. It’s something I’ve known my whole career and see every day when I work with my clients. It’s been one of my missions, empowering health professionals to work synergistically with fitness professionals, to tackle the cause of illness rather than just treating the symptoms with a one shoe fits all approach and a handful of expensive tablets.  Here are a few benefits exercise can have on your overall health and how you can get started today.

Reduce your risk of medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

The Australian Government Department of Health reports that just 2 and a half hours of moderate physical activity (think walking, swimming, cleaning the house etc.) and an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity such as running, fast cycling and aerobic sports can assist with the management of these conditions. That’s as easy as a good clean up in the house/around the yard on the weekend and a game of footy with your mates.

Maintain or improve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Health practitioners have noted that improvements in these conditions can be just as good through exercise as they can be through the use of medication. Of course, you should always speak to your healthcare provider about the best treatment for your condition but if you’re looking to improve these conditions through exercise, bring it up to your GP on your next visit – they can recommend the best activity plan for you.

I’ve had clients on blood pressure medication for over 20 years, who with a rectification of diet and commencement of a tailored exercise plan, have been asked by their doctor to cease medication. This is not a one of, the majority, if not all my clients see a rapid improvement in all health markers once they make a start.

Prevent unhealthy weight gain.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can only lose weight if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming. Calories consumed through the food we eat and drink can add up quickly and exercise of course burns those calories. Activities such as HIIT and resistance training can stimulate your body to continue to burn calories for hours after you’ve finished exercising.

Whoop, that’s my idea of efficiency, burning fat calories whilst I sleep.

Build strong muscles and bones.

When you exercise, you place an increased load on your bones which helps increase their density. The best exercises for your bones are those which incorporate weight bearing forces. This includes a variety of weight bearing exercise (eg. Brisk walking and jogging), resistance training – weighted squats and lunges, high impact exercise (eg. Jumping, aerobics) and balance based (eg. Yoga).

Create a healthy mind.

Exercise provides an array of mental health benefits including boosting your mood, lowering stress levels, helping you sleep and improving your memory. Exercise makes you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It also helps control your circadian rhythm (think: your sleep/wake patterns). Plus, getting out to your Anytime Fitness or the local park to exercise around other people reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation. So get out there to help improve not just your body but also your mind!

Remember… It doesn’t have to be FUN to be FUN!!!