If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to start an exercise program. Here’s five great reasons to get started!
- Shed those excess holiday pounds
Don’t neglect exercise as an essential part of any weight loss program. Do a combination of aerobic activity and strength training. Staying active will also help to prevent regaining weight. Studies show that people who get regular physical activity are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long term.
- Relieve stress and improve your mood
Physically active people tend to have lower rates of depression and anxiety than sedentary people. In Chinese Medicine, getting regular physical activity is an important part of preventing “Liver Qi stagnation”, which is a physical manifestation of pent-up stress and emotions. Exercise with a friend to gain even more of a mood boost!
- Prevent colds and flus
Regular moderate exercise contributes to a healthy immune system. A new study published last month in Scientific Reports provides evidence that working out could help us fight off colds and other infections. In the study, mice were put on a moderate exercise regimen (equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging, 5 times a week) and then inoculated with Staph infection. The exercisers mounted a higher immune response and became less sick than the sedentary mice.
- Regulate your blood sugar
Taking a walk after meals can help clear glucose from the bloodstream as it is taken up by the muscles. A recent study showed that a 15 minute walk after each meal was more effective in improving daily blood sugar levels than a single 45 minute walk done at another time.
- Live longer!
A study conducted in Europe and published in 2015 showed that a sedentary lifestyle increased the risk of early death, even in people who were not overweight. In fact, lack of exercise was found to be “twice as deadly” as obesity. The same study found that just 20 minutes of brisk walking per day can significantly lessen the risk of early death.