We all know it's necessary, but we don't want to get up early in the morning to do it.

What is this "it" I'm talking about?

It is exercise and it is essential for a long and healthy life. I'm not just saying that either. Ask anyone who has lived to be sixty, seventy, and over who move better than some people half their ages. They have used exercise to turn their life around.

Exercise is getting our bodies moving and burning calories. To lose one pound, it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories. I know what you're thinking - it might as well be a million calories. But, it is not as hard as you think. Exercise doesn't have to be organized at a gym for it to be legitimate and to "count."

The best thing about exercise is that it is cumulative. That means that if you do ten minutes of walking in the morning, fifteen minutes of walking at lunch, and twenty minutes of walking when you get home, it all adds up to calories burned and pounds lost. The benefit to your muscles and heart increase as you continue to fit exercise in where you can.

So, where do you start?

Get up off the couch. That is the hardest part. Starting is both good and scary. What if we can't do it? Well, I'm here to tell you that there is an exercise for you. The key is to start slowly and work your way up. Unlike a horse race, you don't have to be fast out of the gate, you just have to make it out of the gate and continue on the track.

Walking is the best overall exercise. You can do it anywhere and it works your lower and upper body. If you can't afford a gym membership, walk outdoors. You can walk in your neighborhood or in the park. Walking will condition your heart and lungs for other exercises that you may try.

My sister likes kickboxing. It is hard, but it gets a good sweat going. Classes of all kinds are fun for her because she is not alone. Others are working hard to make a change as well. Besides, she likes to give the other participants a laugh every now and again, when she is trying to learn new moves and looks like an octopus with it's arms flying everywhere trying to keep up.

This brings me to another point. One way to get started on a positive note is to find a friend to help you. Working out with a friend or coworker can keep you from wimping out on those days when you feel like taking a day off. Even if you only have a partner one or two days a week, it can motivate you to work on your own the rest of the week.

Try a variety of exercises. Stick with the one you like and when it becomes too easy, switch to something else. Aim for thirty minutes a day starting out and gradually work your way up to more strenuous and longer workouts. Your heart will thank you.

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No one wants to be unhealthy. Being unhealthy can lead to a wide variety of diseases attacking our bodies. Getting old before your time is the fate of many people who suffer from an unhealthy lifestyle. To regain our health, we need to eat right and exercise our bodies.

Exercise improves your heart and lung function among other things. Ever notice those people, and maybe this is you also, who are huffing and puffing after walking a flight of stairs? You would think they had just run five miles the way they are breathing. That is a sure sign that their body is not getting enough oxygen and their muscles are out of shape.

The body learns to use oxygen more efficiently when we participate in a regular exercise program. By program I mean consistent exercise. It could be walking around the neighborhood, jogging at the school track or working out at the local gym. As long as you do it more than once a month, your body will begin to use less oxygen to accomplish that exercise. When that happens, it is time to increase the time and intensity of the workout.

It is necessary for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. The heart can do this more efficiently when the body is in shape. Tissues stay oxygenated and hydrated to the point that your skin will glow and your resting heart rate and pulse will be lowered as well.

People have all heard that exercise releases “feel good” hormones and it’s true. Your outlook on situations will change when you have had a good run or walk to clear your head. Just the fact that you have completed the workout will make you feel better about yourself. If you want to keep those good vibrations, you have to continue to exercise.

Obesity is an epidemic among adults and kids in America. Carrying extra weight leads to health problems that can include Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. All of these are life-threatening conditions that should be prevented when possible. The buildup of plaque in the arteries of the body can cause a heart attack or stroke to occur. At age thirty-five or forty, you don’t want to be worried about a heart attack. If you are morbidly obese, things like a heart attack well before old age can become reality. Taking preventative measures such as exercising, will help to lessen your risk of facing serious health conditions like those mentioned above.

Exercise is a way to burn off extra calories and lose weight. Combined with healthy eating, exercise helps the body return to its normal functioning state. This is important as we age. Our bones get weaker and more brittle. Our muscles begin to waste away to the tune of a pound a year after age forty. Exercise strengthens the bones and builds up strong lean muscle therefore prolonging the aging process.

This is the only body we’ll get. Treat it to the best. Exercise three or more times a week for improved health and a longer, happier life.

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