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Emphasis on Exercise in General Health Promotion:


    Studies show conclusively that there is not a major health problem on which exercise does not have a beneficial effect. People who exercise are more productive, are sick less often and have lower health care costs. Do you want a more beautiful body, more efficiency at work, more spark, better relationships, and desserts without guilt? Look here for ten advantages of regular exercise that will inspire you toward working out for life.


    Exercise promotes weight loss. Seventy percent of Americans are obese due largely to lack of regular exercise and in turn depleting not only their health but billions of health care dollars from our U.S. economy. After a few weeks of regular exercise the loose fat deposits melt away, muscles tone improves and clothing fits more comfortably.  The muscle gained from exercise burns more calories than fat. You can in good conscience add a dessert to your menu. Weight loss is very important, but often overly emphasized in the media. Rather than obsessing on a narrow goal the following should encourage you to go for the other important benefits of exercise on your life.


    Exercise is a positive distraction which reduces stress, elevates mood and ameliorates depression.


    Exercise improves brain function by balancing the electrical and chemical activity in the brain.


    Exercise releases endorphins into your brain and blood stream and reduces the perception of pain.


     Exercise programs improve strength, stamina and balance making everyday activities safer and easier.


     Exercise reduces disease incidence and severity. It can help prevent, or improve the effects of stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass.


    Exercise improves and protects your heart the most important muscle in the body. A fit heart and cardiovascular system are essential to the health of all other systems of the body.


    Exercise boosts immune function expediting recovery from illnesses such as colds and flu.


    Exercise helps build relationships. As your mood improves your interactions with others in your life improve. Exercise is more fun when done with others. People who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often.


    Exercise gives you more time in your day. As you become fit you have more energy to do the things you want to do.  Instead of being exhausted at the end of the day you will feel like doing things you have always wanted to do, but are too tired to do in the evening.  You will be able to get up fresh in the morning and feel like getting a head start on the day.


    Everyone can find time for exercise. The 1996 Surgeon General's report stated that only 20 minutes of exercise daily is required to decrease cardiovascular risk and morbidity equal to quitting a three pack a day cigarette habit.  Short repeated spurts of physical activity in your day are equally effective to long bouts.


    Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program to see at what level you should start. Consult a good trainer, at least at the beginning of your program. A well known New York voice teacher's mantra to his students is "Practice makes permanent". It is important that you learn to perform an activity correctly in the beginning. Unlearning a counter productive habit is difficult.