Thursday, August 13, 2015

Health Benefits Of Physical Exercise

Physical exercise improves your breathing and strengthens your lungs muscles. As a necessary part of physical exercise, deep breathing lowers your diaphragm to allow your lungs to take in maximum oxygen upon inhalation, and your abdominal muscles to squeeze out the maximum amount of carbon dioxide from your body upon exhalation.

The rate of expansion and contraction of your lungs increases during physical exercise giving your lungs muscles a good workout. 

Not only that your diaphragm and abdominal muscles also get a workout, allowing your respiratory system to bring in the oxygen your body needs, and get rid of the carbon dioxide it doesn't need.

Physical exercise reduces your risk for hypoxia (oxygen deficiency), which can cause severe damage to your brain, liver and other organs in just few minutes.

Physical exercise also ensures that carbon dioxide level in your blood is kept at a minimum to protect you from acidosis, which is an increase in the acidity of your blood, a major cause for fatigue, confusion and shortness of breath.

Physical exercise strengthens your heart muscles by expanding the arteries and capillaries that supply nutrients and oxygen to your heart muscles. This keeps your heart muscles in good physical condition to deliver blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body.

Physical exercise can lower your blood pressure, and lower the level of triglycerides (bad cholesterol) in your blood. This lowers your risks for heart attack and stroke, which are mainly caused by plaque from a build up of cholesterol inside your coronary and carotid arteries.

Cholesterol plaque can narrow your arteries and reduce the flow of blood to your heart muscles, and in severe cases can block the flow of blood to the heart muscles and cause a heart attack.

Cholesterol plaque can also narrow or block the carotid arteries that supply oxygenated blood to your brain. This is fatal because not only would it disrupt the cognitive functions of thinking, learning and judgment skills, it can also cause a stroke.

Research shows that you can reduce your risk for a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and impaired cognitive functions by regular physical exercise. 

Physical exercise improves your digestive system. When you take in food and drinks, your stomach breaks them down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral salts to be absorbed through the walls of your stomach into your bloodstream for delivery to your cells, which are the end users of all that you eat and drink.

The digestive system is also responsible for eliminating waste products from your body. A weak digestive system would cause heartburn, diverticulitis and constipation. And if you've had any of these maladies, you know how problematic they can be.

Assuming you are eating a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables, regular physical exercise would improve the contraction of your intestinal muscles to help the absorption of nutrients into your bloodstream, and speedup the movement of food through your intestines for eventual disposal from your body.  

Physical exercise improves your blood circulation. Regardless of how healthy your diet may be, if the nutrients from them cannot get to your cells, they may as well not exist.

Your blood circulation is the transportation system that delivers oxygen, nutrients, hormones and enzymes to your cells, and the means by which waste products from cellular activities are picked up from every corner of your body for disposal.

Your circulatory system has two pathways to and from your heart. Oxygenated blood from your heart is moved through your arteries by the pumping action of your heart. Deoxygenated blood returning to your heart flows through your veins, which have no pumping system of their own.

Consequently, the returning blood, or venous return is moved toward your lungs and then to your heart by the movement of your skeletal muscles, which are the large muscles in your body.

The contraction and relaxation of your large muscles as you do your daily tasks compress and decompress the veins located in them, thus moving the deoxygenated blood toward your heart, while at the same time not allowing a backward flow of blood, by the alternating opening and closing of the distal and proximal valves within your veins.

Needless to say, the high level of physical activity that comes with youth is the reason young people have better blood circulation, better health, and need to see their doctors less often.

As we get older, and our level of physical activity decreases, the rate of returning blood flow to our hearts also decreases. This reduces the volume of oxygenated blood the heart can deliver to cells through out the body to perform their metabolic functions.

When your cells are not getting adequate oxygen and nutrients to perform their repair and protection functions, as a result of poor blood circulation, they would become malnourished, and your body would become vulnerable to invading pathogens and diseases.

Regular physical exercise will change all this. As your muscles contract and relax during exercise the volume of blood returning to your heart would increase, and so would the volume of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to your cells, enabling your cells to perform their metabolic functions to keep you healthy.  

Physical exercise can reduce minor joint pain. Ligaments hold your bones together. The ends of the articulating bones are covered with smooth articular cartilage, enclosed in the joint capsule to create the synovial cavity.

The synovial cavity is important because it holds the synovial fluid, which lubricates the two articulating bones and allow them to glide over each other without friction.

Pain occurs when the function of the synovial fluid is degraded by inflamation, bacterial, crystals, or bleeding from an injury. Pain from these can be severe, and normally affects the knee, shoulder, hip and ankles. See your doctor when you have any of these pain.

Regular physical exercise can reduce minor joint pain by strengthening the muscles and tissues surrounding your joints, improves blood flow to supply the synovial cells with adequate oxygen and nutrients to maintain your synovial fluid. Exercise also helps your body release endorphins that interact with your brain cells receptors to reduce your perception of pain.

Contrary to the common view, physical exercise doesn't increase minor joint pain or stiffness. However, it is important to talk with your doctor about the appropriate physical exercise for your age and health condition before starting any physical exercise program.

Physical exercise can reduce weight and keep it off. Excess calories from the food and drinks you consume are stored in the muscles and adipose (fat) tissue as reserve energy. Increase in the size of adipose (fat) tissue is the main cause of weight gain and obesity.

During physical exercise, your body first uses the stored calories (glycogen) in your muscles. When glycogen is depleted, your body breaks down the adipose (fat) tissue into fatty acids to provide energy for your body.

As more fat tissue is broken down to fatty acids and used up as energy for your body during regular physical exercise, the amount of fat tissue decreases. This reduces your body weight, and protects you from overweight related diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Physical exercise helps reduce stress, which is a major cause of overweight and diseases like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and others. Physical exercise helps control the effects of stress, and helps you sleep better.

Physical exercise helps your body release endorphins that interacts with the receptors on your brain cells to improve your mood and trigger a feeling of well being.

This far, I can think of no other human activity that does so much for your health and longevity than physical exercise. 

When your lungs muscles are healthy and can bring in adequate oxygen, and promptly remove the carbon dioxide you body doesn't need. 

When your heart muscles are healthy and can pump sufficient oxygenated and nutrient rich blood through out your body.

When your digestive system is healthy and can extract maximum nutrients from the food and drinks you consume, and quickly remove waste products from your body. 

When your blood circulatory system is robust and can promptly deliver oxygenated and nutrients rich blood to your cells and remove cellular waste from your body.

When your body demand for energy increases, and causes more fat tissue to be burned to protect you from high triglycerides levels and weight gain.

When your stress and pain levels are reduced, and you can sleep better at night, and wake up every morning refreshed with a heightened feeling of well being. 

When all these good things are attributed to physical exercise, I can think of no other activity closest to the elixir to good health and longevity, than physical exercise. 

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