Most people think about aesthetic reasons for exercising and eating well.
‘Look good naked’.
‘Feel confident in how look (in clothes)’.
More confidence is what people are after when they’re wanting to change (improve) how they look.
And confidence tends to breed a higher quality of life.
However, aesthetic goals can go from being ‘most important’ to ‘least important’ in the blink of an eye.
Motivation can be turned upside down in a second.
All it takes is a diagnosis of a health condition that’s debilitating - or even worse, life-threatening - and all of a sudden, ‘getting better’ far outweighs any concerns over more superficial aesthetic goals.
There’s plenty of talk about eating and exercise in relation to obesity, some Cancers, and type 2 Diabetes.
But here’s 3 less common conditions that many people face - especially as you get older - along with how improving your eating and exercise can do wonders for controlling or even preventing them.
1. High CholesterolWith high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
Regular exercise affects your cholesterol and triglycerides in two key ways.
a) Exercise helps to lower triglycerides, which at high levels are linked to coronary artery disease.
b) Exercise also raises your levels of HDL, or the “good” cholesterol.
And in terms of nutrition, high cholesterol is highly correlated to a bad diet full of too much sugar, too much processed food, and not enough ‘good’ fats and fruit & veg.
2. OsteoporosisOsteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture). The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are broken wrist s and broken hips.
Early warning signs can also include receding gums, weaker grip strength, and more brittle fingernails.
A loss of height, a stooped posture, back or neck pain, and bone fractures are often the most common symptoms of later-stage osteoporosis
Although the condition is not reversible, people can prevent further bone loss and rebuild bones with medication, a nutrient-dense diet, and weight bearing exercise.
Prevention is very much preferential to cure here.
Resistance training (lifting weights) not only increases strength, it also helps to increase bone density - or at worse, reduce or significantly slow down bone-density loss.
Your body will thank you for making resistance training part of your routine, in your 40’s and onwards,
3. DepressionSymptoms can range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things, increase anxiety, and feeling very ambivalent about life.
Often there are physical symptoms too. The hormonal changes in our biochemistry affect our physiology too.
Feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, or various aches and pains.
Whilst there’s no one cure all for this drastically ‘broad’ condition, which is unique to each individual, countless studies have shown that exercise is at least as effective as pharmaceutical interventions (and often, more so).
Regular exercise may help by
Whilst we shouldn’t go through life constantly worrying “what if this goes wrong” and “what if that goes wrong”, we also don’t want to be blinkered to the fact that things DO go wrong, and that we have a lot of power to prevent, influence and sometimes reverse various health issues.
Remember, prevention is better than the cure
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