Who should exercise & why?

A properly designed exercise program can benefit everyone, and all ages.  No matter what your profession, body type, or what you do in your daily life, exercise can help.  Maybe you’re someone who believes that exercise is only for people who want to lose weight or look like a guerrilla, but this is not so.  Everyone has muscles, and there is one muscle that should never be neglected; the heart.  The heart is a muscle too. Just like you have muscles throughout the body when exercised become bigger, and when not used become smaller, your heart works the same way. Some hearts can grow larger due to disease, but that does not mean they are strong and conditioned.   A conditioned heart is large and pumps at a slower rate but a larger volume of  blood flow per stroke.  This is accomplished through exercise whether aerobic or anaerobic the heart still is conditioned, and more or less has 60 beats per minute at rest, as opposed to unconditioned which is around 80 or more.  That additional stress is hard on the heart since it has to be faster, harder, and it pushes less blood per stroke.  An individual whose heart is unconditioned is also susceptible to heart attack from acute stress.

An example of this would be receiving a phone call in the middle of the night and hearing bad news, or when faced with fear.  The body initially goes into a fight or flight mode and the adrenal glands produce an excessive amount of hormones causing the heart to beat faster not slowing down leading to heart attack, whereas the individual who’s heart is conditioned, the amount of hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands is less, so they are able to cope with the increased heart rate in a controlled manner.


There isn’t a person who shouldn’t exercise, some common ailments that fitness has been proven to help with are anxiety, arthritis, back pain, cholesterol, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, memory, osteoporosis, and being overweight.  The list could go on and on, but these are just a few examples.  When an individual engages in a regular fitness routine it causes  the release of mood altering chemicals, distribution of fluids, increase efficiency of heart & lungs, improves responsiveness of blood vessels, strengthen muscles, increases metabolism, increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain, increase of HDL (good fats), decrease of LDL (bad fats), reduction of muscle tension & stress, and improves body composition.  There are a lot more metabolic and physiologic things that take place within your body, but these are respective to the ailments listed.  The end result is if you look good, you feel good, and you’re more confident about yourself and who you are.


Yosef Kaplan



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