In society exercise is most commonly associated with weight loss; however exercise has many other implications not limited to the physical body, but a person’s mind and lifestyle as well. Beginning an exercise regimen is often referred to as a lifestyle change, and that is exactly what exercise can do, change a person’s life. The general assumption that an individual can lose weight through physical activity is true, however exercise can also have a positive impact on cancer patients, victims of disease, even improve depression levels and moods.
With the confidence and happiness a person gains from exercising, they often gain better body image, develop better eating habits and show signs of improving the family unit. They develop greater self respect, which then corresponds to other aspects of their life. Due to the alterations physical activity can develop, it is no surprise that the quality of life, for individuals who are physically active, is extremely enhanced. The potential effects of exercising on weight loss may be the most over stimulated notion in society; however that does not make it any less true.
The healthiest way a person can lose weight is not through pills and diets, but exercising the body and eating properly. Based on the article, “Evaluating 10 Ingredients in Weight- Loss Pills: No Clear Winners”, they conducted a study on the top ten ingredients included in dietary supplement pills such as: chitosan, chromium, citrus aurantium, conjugated linoleic acid, garcinia cambogia, guarana caffeine, hydroxymethylbutyrate, plantago psyllium, pyruvate, yerba mate. Each of these ingredients provided sufficient ways to cause weight loss, but all came with consequences.
The healthiest of choices were chromium picolinate and conjugated linoleic acid, but the article concluded, “None of these supplements even come close to competing with the safety and effectiveness of diet and physical activity for losing weight. ” (Aubertin 2) Even after discovering the beneficial factors of certain ingredients, researchers still believe the simplest way of losing weight, diet and exercise, is the best choice. Alongside researchers, even magazine publishers are noticing the necessity for realistic weight loss plans.
“Popular magazines are moving away from touting crash diets, telling readers how to improve poor eating habits and make warranted life style changes…While 42% of Americans today rely on television for nutrition information, a solid 39% still get most of their nutrition news from magazines. ” (Berg 53) Publishers are moving away from crash diets and unhelpful dietary plans because naturally changing a person’s eating habits and levels of activity are the best way to become healthy.
People need to focus on their health, rather than simply losing weight. By sacrificing food, time and energy to weight loss plans, it becomes nearly impossible to sustain that commitment in other aspects of a person’s life, creating an unstable life style, which then would cause them to revert to their original ways. According to M. D. Joel Fuhrmans’ book, Eat to Live, “After spending so much money attempting to lose weight, 95 percent of them gain all the weight back and then add even more pounds within three years.
” (Fuhrman 17) Considering so many diets and pills lead to failure; a natural approach to better health via physical activity is the key to remaining healthy. Along with weight loss, exercise has been found to improve the life of current cancer patients and survivors. Cancer can take over ones’ life and cause depression, unhealthy weight loss or gain, and loss of motivation or hope. Most patients become so ill from radiation and chemotherapy, they would assume exercising would only cause more pain; when actually, exercise has quite the opposite effect.
As opposed to weakening a cancer patient and dragging them deeper into a depressed and hopeless state, exercise can improve their bodies function and help them to feel better. In a controlled study of the effects of exercise on people suffering or recovering from breast cancer, patients were to follow a daily exercise program for 9 weeks and then to complete a questionnaire. It was found that there were improvements in physical, emotional, social, spiritual and total quality of life.
(Abbas, Ebrahim, Eesa, Fazlollah, Maryam 251- 258) Rather than causing more fragility in the patients physical and mental state, they were able to grow from the experience. The effects were typical of cancer and non- cancer patients, but gave cancer patients a greater sense of hope and mental motivation to keep pushing through their treatments and continue with their lives. Exercise also has great impacts on other diseases. Many ailments are a result of obesity and lack of physical activity such as; cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and coronary and peripheral arterial disease.
Although there are additional causes for these diseases, obesity and unhealthy lifestyles are the most common cause, concluding that increasing exercise can potentially decrease the severity of these illnesses and in some cases eliminate these diseases all together. According to a study on the effects of diet versus exercise on LDL and HDL particles in obese adults, it was found that, “increased proportion of small, dense LDL and HDL particles is strongly associated with the risk of coronary heart disease…Weight loss, by means of dietary restriction or exercise, has been shown to decrease the proportion of small LDL particles.
” (Bhutani, Klempel, Kroeger, Varady 119) LDL is bad cholesterol that can cause plaque build-up within the heart and arteries, whereas HDL is good cholesterol that removes LDL from the body. The article explains that by dieting and exercise, an individual will have smaller and less bad cholesterol in their body; thus proving that a proper diet and physical activity regimen have the ability to improve the cardio vascular system. Another objective for exercise is to help manage hepatitis C and the symptoms of people with multiple sclerosis.
Hepatitis C is the result of a virus that causes damage to the liver, multiple sclerosis is “a inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system…[that have] periods of inflammation that result in multi- focal demyelination and transaction of axons in the CNS, and eventually results in axonal loss and gray matter atrophy. ” (Benedict, Motl, Sandroff 1034-1040) Meaning multiple sclerosis can cause the deterioration of cognitive function within an individual. Each disease causes great stress on a persons’ day to day life.
However, if a victim of these diseases has the ability to exercise it has been found that it can be a great benefit to their life. Due to the health issues caused by hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis, many people are unable to fully function, whether it is from walking to speaking, it creates many challenges in their lives. In a study on the effects of exercise on patients with multiple sclerosis, researchers had patients capable of exercise, completing aerobic and other fitness activities.
As a result of this study, “the evidence indicates that exercise training improves cognitive function, particularly information processing speed, learning and memory, and executive functions. ” However if the patients discontinued the exercise regimen they would slowly regress (Benedict, Motl, Sandroff 1034-1040) (Benedict, Motl, Sandroff 1034-1040)
Majority of the applications of the brain are taken for granted and for someone with multiple sclerosis who cannot function properly, knowing there is a possible way of improving that function is another glimmer of hope for a better life. Another key aspect of exercise is its’ many implications on the mind.
Physical activity is found to improve mood, memory and in some studies, it was proven to avoid or end depression completely. According to a study on the effects of exercise on depressed individuals claims, “Active individuals report lower scores of depression scales than sedentary individuals. ” (Beadling, Deuster, Francis, Kop, Weinstein 51-57) This leads readers to assume that individuals with greater levels of inactivity will have higher levels of depression. Meaning the more frequently and consistently a person exercises the less likely they will become depressed.
One article says, “Several studies have shown that 5-HTP, an important amino acid, increases erotonin, endorphins, and other neurotransmitters that can help enhance mood,” then offers three steps to dissolving depression, “Step one = surround yourself with loving, supportive people — happiness does not leave us when we share it. Step two = get moving — avoid the temptation to skip exercise during times of stress. Step three = some supplemental insurance — exciting new research confirms how some dietary supplements can help us to be happy.
” (Gazella 50-54) When a person exercises the body produces endorphins. Endorphins then pair up with pain receptors in the brain, helping to ease pain. Step one implies that to become happier and rid the mind from depression, a person must find a supportive group. Most commonly this would be from friends and family, by being more supportive they can also, help strengthen the family unit. Step two implies that consistent physical fitness is necessary to remain happy. Step three implies that the use of a dietary supplement may also, help increase happiness.
A person’s happiness can then overflow into other aspects of their life. Negative body- image, suffering family unit, poor food choices and focus are all enhanced by physical inactivity and unhappiness. By exercising people gain self respect and that can affect the way they handle other parts of their life. In the article, “Exercise Your Body- and Brain”, Kotz discusses five ways exercise can help brain power. She mentions its ability to relieve stress by boosting levels of serotonin, dopamine in order to sooth. Also, exercise can lift depression because it can act as an anti depressant.
Exercise can enhance learning by challenging the brain to coordinate and move at the same time. It can build self- esteem and improve body image through the added confidence an individual gains from exercise, not based on looks and finally, fitness’ ability to give the ‘runners high. ” (Kotz 36) Exercise influences so many aspects on the mind, it causes many improvements in daily choices. From food choices to family, exercises’ effects on the mind alter how we handle different life situations. The ability to maintain optimum health is in a balanced diet and exercise.
You cannot have prime health if you work out every day, but continue to eat processed junk foods. One study claims, “Exercise has been shown to lead to more sensitive eating behavior in response to previous energy intake and not to induce and any acute/chronic physiological adaptations that would lead to an increase in hunger. ” (Martin, Morgan, Truby 1345)So, exercise does affect the way people make their food choices. If a person is physically healthy they will want spread those improvements to become even happier.
Bettering food choices is just as important as exercising and people are aware that the two work best as a team, so they will do both to feel completely healthy. The happier frame of mind that coincides physical activity can then be reflected into family matter and a persons sex- drive. The article, “Take Another Bite Out of Fast Food” says, “A weight gain of nearly 25 pounds, headaches, mood swings, lowered sex drive and elevated blood pressure…. Americans lack of exercise and the consequences of working parents who have little to prepare healthy dinners for their children.
“(Deirdre 5) This is a comment on the affects of weight gain and its influence on a family. Due to this man’s weight gain he is moodier, far less healthy and has a lowered sex drive. Sex plays a key role in a healthy marriage and in turn a family unit. According to the article, “Midlife Marital Happiness and Ethnic Culture: A Life Course Perspective”, it claims, “satisfaction with the type/amount of intimate or private time is predictive of greater marital happiness- reveals that couples are happier in the relationship if they have fewer competing demands. ” (Mitchell 180).
If a marriage is unhappy then its negative results will correspond to the family’s unhappiness. When a family is healthier they are able to accomplish tasks more efficiently creating less competing demands on personal relationships. Also, since many parents do not exercise they are not capable of providing the appropriate attention to their spouse, children and the general health of the family. However due to the improved physical health and happier persona that is brought on by exercising, apparent who exercises would have more energy to pay attention to their children and focus on meals and activities that need to be completed.
All in all, exercise helps a person to confidently live their life, whether it is their physical body or mental state. Being physically fit improves a person’s quality of life as a whole. To everyone, exercise can be a foundation of hope. To people who suffer from cancer, diseases, depression, poor body image and poor outlook on life; exercise can change their opinions. It can improve their physical stamina and create a positive attitude towards their life. Whether it is immediate or long term, exercise can have a good impact on each person’s life. Bibliography •Aubetin, Amy.
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•Gazella, Karolyn A. “3-Step Approach To Happiness. ” Better Nutrition 71. 6 (2009): 50-54. Print. •Kotz, Deborah. “Exercise Your Body–And Brain. ” U. S. News & World Report 147. 7 (2010): 36. Print. •Martins, C, L Morgan, and H Truby. “A Review Of The Effects Of Exercise On Appetite Regulation: An Obesity Perspective. “International Journal Of Obesity 32. 9 (2008): 1337-1347. Print. •Mitchell, Barbara A. “Midlife Marital Happiness And Ethnic Culture: A Life Course Perspective. ” Journal Of Comparative Family Studies 41. 1 (2010): 167-183. Print. •Motl, Robert W. , Brian M. Sandroff, and Ralph H.
B. Benedict. “Cognitive Dysfunction And Multiple Sclerosis: Developing A Rationale For Considering The Efficacy Of Exercise Training. ” Multiple Sclerosis (13524585) 17. 9 (2011): 1034-1040. Print. •Varvani-Farahani Abbas, et al. “The Effect Of Designed Exercise Programme On Quality Of Life In Women With Breast Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy. ” Scandinavian Journal Of Caring Sciences 24. 2 (2010): 251-258. Print. •Willem J. Kop, et al. “The Role Of Depression In Short-Term Mood And Fatigue Responses To Acute Exercise. ” International Journal Of Behavioral Medicine 17. 1 (2010): 51-57. Print.