Summertime: Let’s Get Active and Have Some Fun

Joel Peterson, Personal Trainer

Joel Peterson – Level 5 Personal Trainer Apple Athletic Club

Benefits of Exercise

Summer is here and it’s time to be outdoors and active! Summer and fall are the perfect seasons to spend outdoors in fun physical activities. Not only is it conducive to our physical health but important to our mental well-being. So get some sun and the vitamin D it provides as you enjoy the outdoors. Just be careful not to sunburn as this can damage your skin – not to mention being painful.

Here are some suggestions of activities that will enhance your health while having fun:

HIKING: Take a nature hike on Cress Creek Trail near Heise or any and all the great trails close to town. Get a brochure from the Chamber of Commerce, State of Idaho, or pick up a trail guide at Barnes and Noble. Careful! You may become addicted.

WALKING: A nice stroll around the Green Belt is a great way to get outdoors and view beauty. The great thing about walking is you can do it just about anywhere. Even in the mall if you’ve had enough sun. Move at a quick pace to increase your heart rate and shoot for between 30 to 60 minutes. Doing this just three times a week will give you amazing benefits, both physically and mentally.

GARDENING: Not my favorite but many people get great satisfaction in working a garden. Not only do you get great physical and mental benefits but wonderful, healthy organic veggies or beautiful flowers and yard.

gardening is a great summer activity

SPORTS: Softball, volleyball, badminton, swimming, tennis or any other activity that you enjoy, or perhaps once enjoyed but got away from. (Ok, golf too – but please carry your clubs)

Summer Food

I advise my clients to take full advantage of this great time of year. It’s also a great time for healthy produce and fruit in its season. Freshly harvested produce not only tastes great, it retains most of its vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. Learn how to do your own canning and take advantage of this cornucopia of goodness. It can be very satisfying and most certainly economical on your food budget. My wife, Summer (really), cans most every year and I love the wonderful aromas in our home.

Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercise Benefit #1 – Increased energy: The right combination of exercise and nutrition creates a hormonal environment conducive to fat loss, increased muscle strength and increased energy. When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar! Everyday things become much easier to do.

Exercise Benefit #2 – Increased Self-Esteem: Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness is an amazing way to increase self-esteem. You look better and are more confident which empowers you in everything you do. You will find that the self-discipline required and learned through regular exercise spills over into other areas of your life and you will be better able to make other necessary and desirable changes.

Exercise Benefit #3 – Increase Mental Focus: Did you know that the latest research shows that exercise helps keep the brain sharp well into old age? Anything that involves mental acuity (focus and concentration) is improved. You also stand a much better chance of avoiding such diseases as Alzheimer’s and senility.

Exercise Benefit #4 – Decreased Risk of a Heart Attack: By exercising regularly and making positive changes in your diet, you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and greatly diminish the chances of having a heart attack.

Exercise Benefit #5 – Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis: Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and can even reverse it by building bone tissue!

Exercise Benefit #6 – Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer by up to 60%: Estradiol and progesterone, two ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer tumor production are lowered in the body by exercise.

Exercise Benefit #7 – Increased Strength and Stamina: Every physical thing you do becomes easier which is immensely useful in everyday life.

Exercise Benefit #8 – Reduced Depression: The production of endorphins (feel-good hormones) is increased through exercise. Nothing improves mood and suppresses depression better than those endorphins.

Exercise Benefit #9 – Decreased Stress Levels: The worries and stresses of everyday living (commuting, work demands, conflicts etc.) can stick with you long after the work day is done. Exercise right after work is the perfect natural therapy that can change your mood. You’ll sleep better too!

Exercise Benefit #10 – Well actually, here are another 50 benefits:
Improves digestion. Enhances quality of sleep. Adds a sparkle and radiance to complexion. Improves body shape. Tones and firms muscles. Provides more muscular definition. Enables weight loss and keeps it off. Makes you limber. Improves endurance. Burns extra calories. Improves circulation and helps reduce blood pressure. Increases lean muscle tissue in the body. Improves appetite for healthy foods. Alleviates menstrual cramps. Alters and improves muscle chemistry. Increases metabolic rate. Enhances coordination and balance. Improves posture. Eases and possibly eliminates back problems and pain. Makes the body use calories more efficiently. Lowers resting heart rate. Increases muscle size through an increase in muscle fibers. Improves body composition. Increases body density. Decreases fat tissue more easily. Makes body more agile. Is the greatest body tune-up. Reduces joint discomfort. Improves athletic performance. Enriches sexuality. May add a few years to life. Increases your range of motion. Enhances immune system. Improves glycogen storage. Enables the body to utilize energy more efficiently. Increases enzymes in the body which burn fat. Increases the number and size of mitochondria in muscle cells. Increases concentration of myoglobin (carries oxygen in muscles) in skeletal muscles. Enhances oxygen transport throughout the body. Improves liver functioning. Increases speed of muscle contraction and reaction time. Enhances feedback through the nervous system. Strengthens the heart. Improves blood flow. Helps to alleviate varicose veins. Increases maximum cardiac output. Increases contractility of the heart’s ventricles. Increases the weight and size of the heart. Improves contractile function of the whole heart. Makes calcium transport in the heart and body more efficient.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think that three or four hours a week in exercise is worth the pay off. How about you?

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