Get Moving! | Teen Ink

Get Moving! MAG

May 26, 2009
By Kayla Garbison SILVER, Goodyear, Arizona
Kayla Garbison SILVER, Goodyear, Arizona
5 articles 2 photos 0 comments

Mmm … that delicious smell of warm dough and glutinous glaze – your taste buds are tingling. You have to have it. The jelly-filled delight is luring you. Would you like to know the secret to enjoying a delectable doughnut guilt-free?

If the answer is “yes” (and we all know it is), exercise is the key. But burning up unwelcome calories isn't the only benefit of regular exercise; it can also improve mood, sleep, and overall health. Daily workouts can create a whole new you.

So what's the holdup? Get moving! Exercise is a fantastic way to blow off steam and take your mind off your long to-do list. Physical activity has been proven to calm your nerves. It stimulates numerous chemicals in the brain, causing you to feel happier and more relaxed. Endorphins, the feel-good chemical produced through exercise as well as other activities, assist our bodies in relieving pain and can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Most importantly, through regular exercise the body begins to feel and look better, boosting confidence and self-esteem! So, the next time you are dealing with a tough breakup, don't reach for the Chunky Monkey; instead take a brisk walk and soak up some sunshine. Trust me, the stress and sadness will melt away.

It can be tricky to fall asleep at night when your mind is racing with details from the day. Because of Americans' busy schedules and fast-paced lifestyles, sleep deprivation is at an all-time high, according to SleepNet. The solution is simple: incorporate a short workout before bed and you will feel rested and alert in the morning. Why? Because exercise increases metabolism and creates muscle fatigue, which are cues for your brain that rest is necessary. This can encourage your body to fall asleep more rapidly.

In addition, the peak in body temperature after physical activity drops slightly when bedtime approaches, which generates a deeper, uninterrupted sleep. When the alarm clock buzzes, that snooze button will no longer be compulsory! You will awaken ready to start the day, which will improve concentration, productivity, and disposition. Get your rest and you'll be at your best!

Keeping fit is the answer to a long and healthy life. Exercise boosts HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and reduces LDL, “bad” ­cholesterol. In addition, keeping active prevents (or helps manage) high blood pressure by helping the blood flow smoothly and preventing nasty buildups of plaque in your arteries. As humans – especially women – age, their bones can become frail. Now dairy isn't the only answer to strong bones. Frequent workouts can avert osteoporosis without the milk mustache.

Are you ready to combat chronic disease? Kick cancer to the curb, dance diabetes out the door, and tae bo type 2 away! Exercise is the cure. It strengthens your heart and lungs by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, which helps the entire ­cardiovascular system. Big deal? You bet! A heavy-duty heart and lungs give you more energy to do the things you enjoy.

Despite all the advantages already mentioned, the most helpful, the most overlooked benefit is … exercise can be fun! Getting ­active doesn't have to be unbearable; you don't need to pump iron or run a marathon to be fit. Sign up for weekly hip-hop classes and boogie yourself slim, or take a dip in the pool and backstroke your way to a banging bod.

Find an activity you enjoy and go for it! You have plenty of reasons to get physical.

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