The sheer amount of scientific evidence behind the health benefits of exercise is staggering.
Studies show that exercise can help you control your blood sugar, lose (or maintain) weight, improve your mood, reduce nervousness, and lower your risk for many common chronic diseases. Your bones, your brains, and your heart all greatly benefit from good exercise.
Lean Body Mass
The amount of muscle you have on your body is called your lean body mass. One of the most visible outcomes from exercise is also one of the most beneficial to your health – an increase in lean body mass and reduction in body fat. The health benefits associated with increased lean body mass are many.
An increase in lean body mass leads to an increase in your metabolism. This increased metabolism means that it is easier to lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight is associated with a decrease in many chronic diseases and is associated with a healthy heart.
An increased lean body mass burns more calories, not only when you exercise, but 24 hours a day. That is, you burn more calories, even when you are sitting still, doing nothing.
There are two necessary components to building lean body mass: resistance exercise and good nutrition.
Getting the Most out of Exercise
It is clear that exercise is good for you, but you might also want to understand how to get the most bang for your exercise buck by incorporating better nutrition along with your exercise program.
Try these tips to get the most out of your exercise:
- Stay consistent: Exercise should be a lifetime pursuit. Choose exercises that you enjoy and can stay with your entire life. Golf and tennis, in particular, are social and you can do them your entire life. Swimming, walking, and biking are also good choices.
- Exercise enough: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you should exercise at least 2 and a half hours every week. You don’t have to do it all at once, 10-15 minutes at a time works just as well.
- Increase your heart rate: It is important that you choose an exercise that increases your heart rate. This type of exercise (cardiovascular or aerobic exercise) increases oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout your body.
- Lift weights: Resistance exercise is great because it helps to build lean body mass as well as helps support bone mass as we age.
- Supplement properly: Exercise increases the body’s need for nutrients. A good multivitamin is always a good place to start. In order to build good muscle mass, adequate protein intake is necessary. Look for a product that contains extra branch-chained amino acids, especially leucine.
Remember to start slow and build slow. Make it a habit to exercise. Your body loves to move around; sitting much of the day is a new thing. Move more, have fun and play often!