Beyond Weight Loss: Lots of Reasons to Move!

Here are facts, some we’ve known for a long time, others from recent research.  Sometimes it”s easier to get going without the “I”ve got to lose weight mentality….”  Exercise for your health and well-being, period, no matter what”s going on weight-wise.  Focusing on these other positives can make the experience more satisfying.  Print the chart and post in on your refrigerator!

 -the majority of people who’ve lost weight and kept it off for five years or more exercise, on average, an hour per day.

 -people who are overweight but physically fit tend to have fewer health and disease risk factors than people who are normal weight but out of shape.

 -exercise builds muscle.  Muscle burns more calories than fat or lean tissue.

 -exercise helps people lose weight faster than reducing calories alone.

 -exercise helps keep blood pressure down.

 -exercise keeps the heart strong and reduces cardiac risk factors.

 -exercise alone has been shown to reduce diabetes risk, and to improve blood sugar levels in Type II diabetics.

 -exercise improves cognitive function in older people at risk for dementia or other age-related cognitive problems.

 -exercise probably helps delay the onset of Alzheimer’s for those at risk.

 -in a recent large-scale study, exercise improved quality of life on several dimensions, regardless of whether or not people lost weight.

 -exercise improves depression in many people.

 -exercising (but not right before bed) tends to improve sleep.

 -pregnant women who exercise tend to have less complicated deliveries than others.

 -exercise strengthens bone mass.

 -exercise that improves flexibility helps prevent falls in older people.

 -exercising will improve your score on any “biological vs. chronological age” test.

 -exercise is a good way to reduce stress and to reduce the intensity of negative emotions.

 -exercising throughout a holiday season or vacation can minimize potential weight gain from eating higher calorie foods (to a point:  you still have to pay attention!)

 -exercising can minimize weight gain from quitting smoking.

 -exercise can minimize cravings when you’re trying to break bad habits.

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