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5 Positive Lifestyle Changes for the New Year (Part 3)

8 January 2013

Are you in a rut? Are you feeling like you’re losing your “touch”? Is complacency becoming the norm? Maybe what you need are some basic lifestyle changes. In the coming days we will review five suggestions for the New Year to help improve your health and overall wellbeing – helpful advice that may also initiate a sense of self-renewal and give you more energy, which in turn will give you a whole new outlook on life.

To review part 1, click on: Go on a cleanse or detox diet.

To review part 2, click on: Improve your dietary choices

Here’s part 3…

3. Find a daily activity that insures you’re getting enough exercise.

Studies show that low to moderately intense activities can have some short and long-term benefits. If done daily, they may help lower your risk of heart disease. Activities such as pleasure walking, climbing stairs, gardening, yard work, moderate housework and dancing help, but ask yourself, is that enough? By engaging in more vigorous exercise, you can greatly improve the overall fitness of both the heart and lungs, which provides much more consistent benefits for lowering heart disease risk plus a host of other physical advantages such as better digestion, elimination of toxins, improved liver and kidney function and weight loss, to name a few.

Many people are now discovering (or rediscovering) the awesome benefits of regular, vigorous exercise; activities like swimming, brisk walking (or hiking), running, or working out at a gym or fitness center. These forms of exercise are generally called “aerobic,” meaning the body uses oxygen to produce the energy needed for the activity. An aerobic exercise will elevate your heartbeat (cardiovascular) and makes you sweat, and contrary to popular belief, Yoga IS an aerobic or cardiovascular exercise and can condition your heart and lungs if performed at the proper intensity for at least 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga are perfect examples.

So, you don’t have to train like a professional athlete or marathon runner to become more physically fit! Any activity that gets you moving around, gets you heart beating and causes you to break a sweat will work, and even if it’s done for just a few minutes each day it’s better than exercise at all. For sedentary or inactive people, the trick is getting started. Once started, exercising in the company of other like-minded people will keep you on track and motivated.

 

There are many benefits experienced by people who get regular physical activity, here’s a few…

Exercise helps you feel better because it:

 

  • gives you more energy
  • helps you cope with stress
  • improves your self esteem and self-image
  • increases your resistance to fatigue
  • counters anxiety and depression
  • enables you to relax and feel less tense
  • improves your ability to sleep more soundly
  • provides an easy way to share an activity and an opportunity to meet new friends

 

It helps you look better because it:

 

  • shapes & tones your muscles
  • burns off calories to help lose extra pounds or helps you maintain your desired weight
  • helps control your appetite
  • reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • improves your posture
  • Gives you a healthy glow (from increased circulation)

Additionally, aerobic or cardiovascular exercise fights the onset of age-related disease, lifts your spirits and sense of well-being, increases your lung capacity so you can take in more oxygen, boosts circulation to deliver nutrients to cells and skin, lowers inflammation, and, for many, is said to be the ultimate stress reducer.

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