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Keep Active This Winter!

With the winter months coming our getting regular, aerobic, exercise starts to become more of a challenge.  In today’s world most of our activities keep us physically inactive.  Much of our work is done on computer, we drive to our jobs and social activities and watch telly or DVD’s for entertainment.  Computer games and facebook keep the young people occupied during many of their leisure hours.  Getting the body moving along with the brain takes a plan and some effort!

There are many benefits to regular exercise.  Our bodies are made to move, and usually they rust out faster than they wear out.  While we may think of how we look and muscular strength when we’re young, as we age there are other vital aspects to the picture—such as keeping our heart, brain and immune system healthy.  While our heart does the pumping, when we move our muscles do a great deal to help the circulation as well, especially the big muscles in our legs.  Keeping the blood circulation healthy is important to getting oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, as well as clearing the wastes from our system.  It’s largely exercise that moves the lymph fluid, an important part of the bodies cleansing and immune mechanisms.

Another important aspect of regular exercise is that it clears stress hormones out of the blood.  Our modern world creates many incidents during the day that produce a stress reaction.  Whether it’s someone cutting us off in traffic, our partner saying the wrong word at the right time, or our little girl running from the footpath into the path of an oncoming car, our bodies react by pumping stress hormones into the blood.  Living with these hormones in the blood has a long-term, negative, impact on both our physical and mental health, and getting these cleared from the system helps us get good, undrugged, sleep. 

Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, powerful natural brain chemicals that kill pain and bring a relaxing, ‘feel good’ sensation to our whole body.  These natural chemicals are life-giving, without the negative effects that tranquilizers and alcohol have on our bodies and brains.

You don’t have to be an athlete to get exercise.  Walking is great exercise.  Cycling, swimming, running, playing sports—whatever is fun for you—add a dimension into the life that keeps us fit and feeling more positive about life in general.  While outdoor exercise is best, when the weather is bad a gym is a great option, or a treadmill or exer-cycle at home.  Installing full spectrum lighting in the room where you exercise (Kavanagh's Electrical in Waterford stock full spectrum tubes) and opening a window to get plenty of fresh air makes a big difference too.

So this winter, beat the blues and get regular exercise!  You’ll be surprised how much better life starts to look when the body is fit and the brain is clear! 

 

See also:

 http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/healthpromotion/