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Benefits of Exercise and a Healthy Diet




 

Heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are among the leading causes of death worldwide today.

They account for about two-thirds of all Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are among the leading causes of death in the United States today. They account for about two-thirds of all deaths each year.

All of these diseases are associated with poor diet and lifestyle.

A person's genetic makeup is an important determinant of his or her risk for developing the disease, but lifestyle choices - such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and alcohol abuse - also play an important role.

People can't control the genes they inherit, but they can control the food they eat and how much exercise they do. A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing disease, and can slow the progression of any conditions people already have.

A regular exercise program improves fitness levels and helps maintain body weight in a healthy range.

It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

In addition, exercise improves psychological well-being, reduces depression and anxiety, and improves mood, sleep patterns, and overall outlook on life.

It stimulates the release of chemicals called endorphins, which are considered natural sedatives that play a role in triggering what athletes describe as "high exercise".

In addition to causing exercise euphoria, endorphins are believed to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve mood, pain tolerance, and appetite control.

A Healthy Body Weight

A healthy weight is associated with well-being and longevity. Carrying excess body fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep disorders, breathing problems, and some cancers.

Maintaining body weight at the right level reduces the risk of this disease. For athletes, a healthy weight can also optimize performance.

Body mass index (BMI) calculations can be used to determine if your weight is within a healthy range.

Because BMI considers total body weight, rather than the sum of body weight derived from muscle versus fat, athletes who have a large amount of muscle mass may have a BMI in the overweight or obese range.

This does not mean their weight creates a health risk. Only being overweight from fat is considered unhealthy.

Diet and exercise are both important for maintaining weight. When people consume the same number of calories they use, their weight remains stable.

 Regular exercise increases energy use thereby enabling people who exercise to consume more food without gaining weight.

 For example, an active woman in her 20s needs to eat about 500 calories more per day to maintain weight than a sedentary woman of the same age, height, and weight.

 Choosing foods that are rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in fat will maximize your nutrient intake without providing too many calories.

Heart disease


In general, when we use the term heart disease, we are talking about atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which fatty material builds up on the walls of the arteries.

 This causes the arteries to narrow and become less elastic.

 People with obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, or diabetes are more likely to develop atherosclerosis. The risk of developing atherosclerosis also increases with lifestyle choices, such as smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and Tran fat.

A diet high in fiber, antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E), and fish and plant oils, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

 Adding exercise to this healthy mix further reduces the risk.

Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering blood pressure and increasing levels of a healthy type of blood cholesterol called HDL cholesterol.

 Aerobic exercise also strengthens the heart muscle, thereby lowering the resting heart rate and reducing the workload of the heart.

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