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This country’s health starts at home

What is it going to take for people to get off the couch and spend the 30 to 45 minutes exercising?

Lets first look at a few benefits of exercising:

  • Increased energy: The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates a hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar!
  • Increased Self-Esteem: Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident which empowers you in everything you do. You will find that the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life and you will be better able to make other necessary and desirable changes.
  • Increase Mental Focus: Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything that involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer’s and senility.
  • Exercise promotes better sleep. Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day. A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There’s a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.
  • Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life. Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Physical activity to the rescue.  Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise — especially as they get older.
  • Decreased Risk of a Heart Attack: By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack.
  • Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis: Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it buy building bone tissue!
  • Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer by up to 60%Estradiol and progesterone; two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production are lowered in the body by exercise.
  • Increased Strength and Stamina: Every physical thing you do becomes easier which is immensely useful in everyday life.
  • Reduced Depression: The production of Endorphins (Feel good hormones) is increased through exercise. Nothing improves mood and suppresses depression better than those endorphins.
  • Decreased Stress Levels: The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, conflicts etc.) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood

Now here are the facts if people don’t exercise:

  • Chronic Diseases: Lack of exercise leads to chronic health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, increased risk of developing cancer and premature death
  • Depression: Lack of exercise can make people stressed, fatigued and depressed. Exercising releases certain hormones in the body, which reduces anxiety and depression. Lack of exercise, however, can make a person depressed and fatigued
  • Lack of Self Esteem:  Lack of exercise can make people uncomfortable about the way the look and feel, which will have a direct effect on their professional and social inaction with other people.
  • Obesity: Among all effects of lack of exercise, obesity is primary. Obesity is a condition where high amount of fat is accumulated in the body, which in turn can lead to several other health problems
  • Lack of flexibility, balance: Lack of exercise can lead to a loss of flexibility, which can make performing daily tasks difficult. Lack of exercise can also lead to loss of balance among the elderly
  • Increased risk of falls, injuries: People who do not exercise are at an increased risk of falls and injury

Now that we have regurgitated that for the millionth time; it is time for the country to start doing something about it and Michelle Obama “Let’s Move” Champaign is not the answer!  Just like everything else in this world, it starts at home.  Children learn from their parents.  If parents don’t believe in exercising and proper nutrition, then why should their kids.  According to the Stanford University School of Medicine, the biggest factor of child obesity is having obese parents.  As a parent, it is your obligation to your children to set them up for success, growing up is hard enough without having to do so with all the previously mentioned issues stemming from obesity.  Parents need to stop making excuses.  The excuses are always the same, “We don’t have time or it’s too expensive.”  GARBAGE! Parents watch on average 3 hours of TV a day while kids watch 5.  Image what the results would be if people would go for a walk after dinner for a half hour or even before breakfast.   And for the excuse of it is too expensive, walking is FREE, some companies provide FREE fitness centers, some gyms are $10 a month, and used exercise DVDs are about $20.  Truthfully, the real reasons are parents don’t work out is because they are tired after work and they don’t want to wake up any earlier to workout.

The bottom line is parents need to stop the excuses, look at children, and realize there is no greater reason in the world to exercise then for your children’s future.