Elevate Your Mood, Boost Your Energy, And Live Longer With Weekly Exercise!

By Hannah de Gruchy / Lifestyle / December 12th, 2019

7. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart Benefits

Regular exercise helps to keep our hearts healthy and therefore helps to ward off cardiovascular disease. In fact, the NHS say that people who perform regular physical activity have up to a 35% reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease or suffering a stroke than those who live a sedentary lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes can often go hand in hand with heart disease, and again exercise can help to prevent that too, with those who exercise regularly having a 50% lower risk of developing the condition. It’s widely considered that a lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. One study has even concluded that “physical activity primarily prevents, or delays, chronic diseases” and that “chronic disease need not be an inevitable outcome during life”. Researchers now know that keeping fit with regular exercise improves our ‘insulin resistance’. Insulin resistance is a common condition whereby the cells of the pancreas stop responding to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that the body releases when we eat a meal that contains carbohydrate or sugar (which is a type of simple carbohydrate, along with white bread and pasta. Complex carbohydrates include wholewheat bread and pasta which are then broken down into simple sugars, releasing their energy more slowly than simple, sugary carbs).

Insulin tells the body to take this sugary energy from the blood and use it to power all our bodily processes including thinking and energy production. (Which is why sugar gives us an immediate brain power and energy boost!). The role of insulin is to reduce the levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. If we become insulin resistant, for example through lack of exercise or eating a high fat diet, the body becomes less sensitive to it, and the pancreas needs to produce more and more of it to maintain blood sugar levels. Eventually, the blood becomes high in both sugar and insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a condition that describes a group of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Studies consistently show that regular exercise improves insulin resistance, which leads to a lower risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Not only that, exercise helps to reduce body fat, maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure, which all leads to happier, healthier heart.

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