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Exercise's Hidden Treasures

Like many people, you may have started a new exercise program to lose weight and improve your appearance.  However, if you have been exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, but have not lost weight, do not get discouraged.  Oftentimes, before you see any changes on the outside, your body is undergoing significant changes that cannot be seen.  While you may not fit into a smaller size just yet, your exercise program is probably yielding some hidden benefits.  The American Council on Exercise, shares the following "hidden treasures" of a regular exercise program.

  1. Improved Cardiovascular Health. Exercise can improve functioning of the heart and decrease your risk of contracting heart disease.
  2. Improved Muscular Strength. A good strength training program, performed at least twice a week, will make performing everyday tasks easier. Whether you garden or grocery shop, stronger muscles make these everyday tasks much easier.
  3. Decreased Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels. Regular exercise may help control high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol.
  4. Increased Bone Density. Weight bearing exercise delays the onset of osteoporosis by increasing bone strength.
  5. Increased Metabolism. Strength training increases muscle mass, which elevates metabolism. A higher metabolism may also lead to a reduction in overall body fat percentage.
  6. Improved Mood. Life definitely seems better after exercise. Exercise reduces the incidence of depression and improves self-esteem while providing a feeling of accomplishment.
  7. Prevent and regulate diabetes. Aerobic exercise has shown to be an important means of preventing and treating non-insulin-dependent diabetes by helping regulate blood glucose levels.
  8. Increased Flexibility.Physical activities that require the body to go through a full range of motion help improve flexibility. You can lift, reach, and perform sports activities with less risk of injury when you are flexible.

Therefore, if you have been following an exercise program that includes 3-5 days of aerobic activity such as walking, taking aerobic classes, or swimming, as well as performing strength training exercises at least twice a week, keep up the good work! 

Although may have not seen all those expected changes in your appearance "Yet", try to focus on the internal improvements that your body is undoubtedly making.

Before you know it, you'll be on your way to looking as good as you feel!

Disclaimer: Information provided is based on our experience, training, and judgment in interpreting the practical application and intent of official guidance and regulations.  It does not represent the official position of any government agency or their representative.