Information about exercise in Baltimore, MD
The Health Benefits of Exercise
Why should we exercise? People who exercise regularly have a lower death rate than sedentary people, regardless of their weight.[1,4,5] Exercise stretches and contracts the muscles and stimulates breathing thereby improving blood circulation and lung function. Exercise has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity for healthy persons and those with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (Type II diabetes). Weight-bearing exercises also strengthen bones and may help decrease the risk of osteoporotic fractures.
Walking can burn
Don't expect to lose a lot of weight by exercising. Many people believe that exercise is a good way to lose weight. This is not so. Fifteen minutes of moderately vigorous exercise will only burn approximately 100 calories, which is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of olive oil or two-thirds of a can of soda. One hour of walking at a brisk pace will burn about 300 calories, which is equivalent to a 3.5 oz. (100g) plain croissant. Running a 20-mile marathon does not burn enough calories to lose one pound of fat. You need 10 hours of moderate exercise to burn the calories equivalent to one pound of fat, but you cannot selectively burn only fat. Most of the weight lost by exercising is due to dehydration (sweat or perspiration), and this weight is regained as soon as you drink water.
The best way to lose body fat weight is through diet as discussed in the Weight Control section. Dieting alone reduces fat and bone mass, whereas dieting in combination with exercise stimulates muscle growth, shifts the ratio of fat to muscle in the body, and helps maintain bone density during weight loss. In addition, exercise induces the release of endorphins which produce a feeling of well-being. Approximately 30 minutes per day of vigorous aerobic exercise has been shown to be an efficacious treatment for mild to moderate major depressive disorder (MDD). The objectives of exercise are:
- Maintain or improve coordination, balance, and flexibility
- Build or maintain muscular endurance and strength
- Improve cardiovascular and pulmonary health
(cardiorespiratory or aerobic endurance)
- Feel well and have a better mood
Don't Overdo It.
Excessive or improper exercise may damage the body.
In their eagerness to get fast results, many people set unrealistic fitness goals
and, by overtraining, suffer injuries which worsen their health instead of improving it.
Lifting heavy weights or doing too many repetitions of an exercise can
be harmful. We don't need to look further than President George W. Bush
to learn what NOT to do. After years of running three miles in 21 minutes, his knees were ruined from
the high impact exercise. In 1997, he had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage
to his left knee and in 2003, at age 57, the White House reported that President Bush had
"post-traumatic degenerative changes" of his right knee and had to switch to
lower impact exercises...
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