Six hidden benefits of your daily exercise routine

We exercise for all the right reasons that everyone talks about - to lose weight, tone muscles and improve our overall health. But medical research studies show that there are additional benefits you might not be thinking about – and we all can use a little extra motivation to get up and move, right?

  1. Better mobility – Daily long walks (or an hour or two of similar activity) can reduce the age-related deterioration of your motor abilities.
  2. Improved memory – Twenty minutes of strength-training exercises can boost your long-term memory by ten percent.
  3. Reduced anxiety – Exercise releases neurotransmitters that quiet your brain and improve your response to stressful situations.
  4. Stronger immunity – You’ll beat a cold or the flu much faster if you exercise regularly, plus you’ll reduce your risk more more serious health conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
  5. Deeper sleep – Fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and kick those sleeping pills to the curb.
  6. Higher self-esteem – In addition to feeling better about your body, regular exercise will improve your stamina and your libido.

How to soothe chronic inflammation

The pain and swelling you experience with an injury is actually a good thing. That kind of temporary inflammation acts as your strongest ally by reminding you to rest so the injury can heal.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is one of your body’s stealthiest enemies. Medical research has found that chronic inflammation can be an underlying cause for many debilitating conditions, including allergies, depression, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Hundreds of illnesses that modern medicine has classified as “unique and unrelated” are actually products of the same underlying balances in our bodies.

Chronic inflammation can simmer for years, wreaking havoc on your body. It might manifest as chronic pain or it could be silently compromising your internal organs and other disease-fighting cells without you even knowing it. It occurs when your immune system is overworked and your white blood cells start accumulating beyond what your body can tolerate, because they can’t find a legitimate infection to fight off.

So what can cause your immune system to work overtime? Research shows that weight gain and poor food choices could very well be the main culprits. Not only does weight gain lead to inflammation, certain foods that we eat actually cause unnecessary inflammation – by avoiding these, we can help bring our immune system back into balance. And bonus! There are also plenty of wonderful foods you can easily add to your diet that reduce inflammation.

Our plant kingdom is filled with naturally anti-inflammatory nutrients - eat more of these foods:
  • Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower 
  • Tomatoes, beets and leafy greens
  • Tuna, salmon and other fatty fish
  • Olive oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric and parsley
  • Almonds, walnuts and macadamias
  • Seeds – pumpkin, hemp and flax
  • Berries and citrus fruits
  • Tea, red wine, cocoa

Eat less of these foods:
  • Processed meats, red meats
  • White flour - bread, pasta, pastries
  • Fried foods, excess vegetable oils
  • Margarine or lard
  • Sugar, sodas, alcohol

There are several supplements that have been found to reduce inflammation, too.
  • Omega 7 can lower CRP (a protein marker for systemic inflammation) by more than 40%
  • Curcumin, which comes from turneric, reduces the low density lipoproteins found in cholesterol
  • Magnesium can lower blood pressure and control blood sugar
  • Resvertol (an ingredient in red wine) helps protect arteries and inhibits blood clots
  • Cocoa flavonoids help the body synthesize nitric acid, which iscritical for healthy blood flow
  • Boswella lowers inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis

The best way to permanently decrease chronic inflammation is to make better choices with your die, exercise routines and stress management. Now go enjoy a lovely salmon dinner with lots of veggies and a glass of red wine!