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All your thoughts, communications, movements, and actions are controlled by the nervous system.
The nervous system comprises of two parts:
The spinal cord is a major organ of the Central Nervous System and comprises of nerve tissues, or neurons. Nerve cells transmit messages from one part of your body to another.
Regular exercise is good for the nervous system and helps decrease stress levels.
The body has a need for strength and movement, which is why we are rigid. If our bodies were not made this way, then movement would be impossible.
We are designed to grow with bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints that all play a part in natural movements known as articulations – these strong connections join up bones, teeth, and cartilage.
Each joint in our body makes these links possible and each joint performs a specific job – many of them differ in shape and structure, but all control a range of motion between the body parts that they connect.
Sedentary lifestyle coupled with energy-rich food that is loaded with fat and carbohydrates is creating fat people who are at high risk of diabetes and other related diseases.
Obesity can be the cause of several diseases including Type II Diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and certain kinds of cancers. Obese people experience hyperventilation and their life expectancy is lower than that of people with normal weight.
Obesity is related to:
In most cases people eat way too much of rich and high calorie food and do not have enough physical exercise to burn off all the calories that they consume.
So, the excess calories are converted into fat and stored into the adipose tissues of the body to be used in an emergency such as extreme physical activity or starvation.
Causes of obesity are:
Diabetes: It is a metabolic disorder where the blood sugar levels remain high for a prolonged period of time.
If the blood sugar levels remain elevated for long, it can cause many health problems such as diabetic coma, heart problems, kidney failure, and a host of other diseases.
So, diabetes is a complex health condition which can have a variety of causes.
People who suffer from hyperglycemia are said to be diabetic. It is a metabolic disorder, which is related to the way food is broken down and absorbed for nutrition and energy.
The food that we eat is broken down into glucose, which is then used to fuel all the activities of our body.
Insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas, is required to synthesize the glucose and convert it into energy. When the body is not able to produce enough insulin, or unable to utilize it properly, then the glucose in the blood is not converted to energy, and causes diabetes.
Reasons for and Types of Diabetes:
Diabetes is caused by two conditions – either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the cells in the body do not respond to insulin.
There are many types of diabetes but the two most common types are:
It is caused by the destruction of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Type I Diabetes is one of the many autoimmune diseases in which the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells of the body. This cell destruction can continue for several years before any symptoms appear. But once the symptoms manifest, it develops pretty quickly. This type of diabetes is observed mostly in children and young adults, but it can manifest itself later in life too.Type I Diabetes has a lot to do with genetics, and the gene is passed from parents to children. It is also believed that food, pollutants, toxins, and viruses may also have an influence in the onset of Type II Diabetes.
Causes of Type II Diabetes:
This is the most common form of diabetes. It is caused by a number of factors.
The major cause is that the body becomes insulin resistant. The cells of the body do not synthesize insulin properly and that raises the level of blood sugar in the body.The body, over a period of time, stops producing enough insulin for the body and the symptoms of diabetes appear.
The Type II Diabetes develops slowly over years, and can remain undetected for a long time. This type of diabetes affects mostly older people and middle aged people, especially if they are obese or overweight.
Type II Diabetes used to be very rare in children or younger people but the trend is changing now and can be observed in obese children and young adults. The triggers for Type II are believed to be genetic propensity and environmental factors.
The causes can be listed as follows:
Obesity and Lack of Physical Exercise:
There is a direct link between diabetes and obesity.
Obesity is caused by too much to eat and too little exercise and so is diabetes.
This is a problem that is observed in overweight and obese people who are not very physically active. The muscles, liver cells and fat cells stop responding to the insulin in a proper manner. Too Much Glucose Production in the Liver:
Sometimes the liver does not function properly and produces too much glucose, which the body cannot synthesize properly. Other causes can be beta cell dysfunction, problem with cell signaling and regulation.
Type II Diabetes Risk Factors
People who are most at risk for Type II Diabetes conform to the following profile:
Treatment for Diabetes and Obesity:
It is important to prevent and control the rate of growth of obesity and diabetes.
The best way to control the growth is to take preventative measures. One of the best ways to treat both obesity and diabetes is through physical activity.
Since both obesity and diabetes have been found to respond well to exercise, this is then the best way to prevent as well as control the two diseases.
New studies and research suggest that the effect of exercise in control of the amount of glucose present in the blood is pretty significant.
Clinical studies on large groups suggest that lifestyle changes like dieting and exercise have a beneficial effect on people with insulin resistance. Since diet and exercise also help in reducing weight, it then helps to reduce the level of stress on muscles and tissues and helps to combat insulin resistance.
Several medical studies uphold the evidence that physically active people have 35% less chance of getting coronary heart disease and stroke; they are 50% less likely to get Type II Diabetes; 20% less chance of breast cancer and 50% lower chances of colon cancer.
The risk for osteoarthritis is reduced by almost 83% and the risk of getting a hip fracture is reduced by 68%.
The chances of falls, dementia, and depression are reduced by 30% and the risk of early death is reduced by 30%.
Physical exercise is an activity that is performed to maintain and increase the body’s level of fitness, health condition, and sense of wellbeing.
It may be performed for a number of reasons including toning and shaping, sculpting the body, muscle building, weight control, increasing stamina and physical endurance, or simply for the love of being physically active.
Any physical activity is good for the body, but dedicated, regular exercise that raises the body temperature, increases the heart and breathing rate, and makes you sweat, is the most beneficial.
When a person joins a physical fitness routine, it is specifically for the benefits that they can derive from the exercise.
Muscles use up different types of fuel for different types of activities.
The type of fuel that the muscles need for contraction depends mainly on the type, duration, and level of activity being performed. The mitochondria in the muscle cells are the engines that drive the muscles. These tiny organelles are responsible for the fuel burning activity in our body.
The muscles are fueled by ATP (Adenosine triphosphate =It is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything we do).
There is some ATP stored in the body, which is just enough for a few minutes of exercise.
Once the stored ATP is spent, then the muscles demand more fuel, which is derived from breaking up of glucose that are stored in the body.
Our main fuel is derived from carbohydrates and stored fat. Once the body has burnt through the available glucose in the body, it then turns to its emergency supply of amino acids stored in the muscle tissue.
While the muscle is contracting, it goes through stress that causes tiny tears to form in the muscle called micro trauma. These tears need to be repaired as soon as the contractions stop. When the tears appear, the normal muscle organelles are disrupted. This induces satellite cells from outside the muscle to fill in the gaps and repair the damage.
Over a period of time, these grow and fuse to the muscle cells forming new protein strands in the muscle tissues.
Repair work requires protein and adequate amount of rest. Muscles are extremely elastic and exercising regularly keeps them in a fit state, as it encourages the muscles to repair and strengthen themselves, as well as add more mass to it in preparation for the next session of stress and strain it needs to endure.
This continues to make the muscles more elastic and strong. Strength training and resistance exercises are a good way to tone your muscles.
When we breathe harder, faster, and deeper, these muscles have to contract at a faster rate and this makes them stronger. When we breathe in, the rib cage has to expand, so the diaphragm relaxes and flattens out, allowing the chest cavity to increase in volume, and the lungs to expand and fill up with air.
The enlarged lungs create a relative pressure change that allows oxygen rich air to enter the lung cavity. When the lungs are at maximum capacity, the diaphragm contracts and tightens up, reducing the lung capacity and forcing the air that is now depleted of oxygen and rich in carbon dioxide to be expelled.
While in the lungs, the air enters the trachea, then the bronchus, from there to bronchioles and to the bronchi at the end of which is a tiny little sac called alveoli. The walls of the alveoli are extremely thin and allow oxygen to diffuse through it to bind with the blood flowing through the capillaries and remove carbon dioxide from the blood.
The harder, faster, and deeper we breathe, the more oxygen enters our blood, thus taking care of the excess demand of oxygen from our body muscles as we work out.
The heart rate increases with an increase in the intensity of the workout. The harder and faster you exercise, the harder and faster your heart works. The benefit of exercising to increase the heart rate is that your heart becomes used to performing at top rate when the blood is pumped into your heart.
Continued enhanced performance over a period of time helps your blood circulation as the heart pumps more blood into the body with each stroke. Over a period of time, the heart rate will decrease at resting as your heart pumps more blood even when the body does not require it. This helps the heart to recover more quickly after exercising.
Studies have shown the benefits of training the brain with exercise. It was discovered that children who exercised 20 – 30 minutes before starting school, were more attentive and less disruptive. It has been found to be beneficial in treating ADHD too. The root of the benefits lies in the fact that exercising can release serotonin and dopamine, which are the pleasure chemical, into the brain, making a person calmer and happier.
Exercise stimulates the nervous system, the center of which is the brain.
When the brain and the nervous system is stimulated, it works better and makes you feel better. While exercising, there is increased circulation of blood, which also means there is more blood and oxygen available for the body as well as the brain.
The extra oxygen and blood supply helps to make the brain more alert and awake during exercise, and keeps you more focused after it.
Regular exercise gets the brain used to the extra blood and oxygen supply and the brain reacts by turning certain genes on or off, thereby changing the cell functions of the brain and protecting it from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Other chemicals and chemical transmitters that the brain releases during and after exercise include:
After a workout, the kidney lets more protein to be filtered out of the urine. In an attempt to keep the body hydrated, the kidneys trigger better absorption of water, preventing too much water to be flushed out as urine. Over a period of time this helps the kidneys to function better.
Skin also excretes wastes through sweat. Over a period of time when you exercise regularly, the skin tone improves because of better circulation and hydration. The skin appears healthier and suppler than before. The improved circulation helps the skin to regenerate faster, giving you younger looking skin.
Adrenal Glands produce hormones called stress hormones.
The main ones being adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline helps the body to cope with emergency situations and cortisol assists the body in utilizing stored fat as fuel. Both these hormones are essential to exercise. Adrenaline prompts the heart to beat faster, while cortisol provides the fuel that the body demands during exercise.
Exercise plays a leading role in reducing colon cancer.
Many people are not aware that exercising on a regular basis can play an important role to their gastrointestinal health.
Exercise improves gastrointestinal function enabling your system to run more smoothly and effectively. It helps to increase blood flow, which plays such a vital role in digestion, by introducing more oxygen to your vital organs.
In addition to this, you will find that with an increase in blood flow, the colon is able to remove toxins much quicker and more effectively. Food that takes a longer period to move through the system increases the chance of causing damage and disease.
With the increase in oxygen, you will find that you will have a reduced risk of constipation and your muscles will be strengthened, all of which play a vital role to colon health.
Exercise also helps to regulate the blood pressure.
Regular physical exercise contributes to reducing the risk of high blood pressure. It, in fact, lowers blood pressure in people already suffering from hypertension.
Exercise helps to improve balance.
Regular exercise improves muscle strength and coordination. This reduces the chances of falls in elderly people.
Studies have indicated a reduced risk of breast cancer in women who exercise regularly.
For those already diagnosed with breast cancer, regular exercise can be achieved during and after treatment with a host of benefits. In addition to improving the quality of life in women with breast cancer and cancer survivors, regular exercise can reduce symptoms and improve physical function
It helps to boost the immune system and improve the ability of the immune system to fight infections.
As you exercise you remove unwelcome bacteria from your lungs and respiratory system, which reduces the risk of colds, flu, and sore throats. It is believed that regular exercise increases macrophages products, these are cells that attack a certain type of bacteria which is responsible for respiratory diseases.
Exercise also changes the antibodies and white blood cells within the body. These tend to circulate faster with exercise, which enables them to detect illnesses faster than they would have if you didn’t exercise at all.
When exercising your body temperature rises. The rising temperature is believed to stop bacteria growth.
The higher temperatures stop bacteria growth, thereby reducing your risk of disease.
Finally, you will find that with regular exercise the stress-related hormones in your body will drop. Exercise has always been an effective solution to reduce stress. By ensuring you do regular exercise, you reduce your risk of getting a stress related disease moving forward.
Exercise is perhaps the best way to control weight.
The greater the intensity of exercise, the more calories a body burns, leading to greater weight management. It also helps to build muscle mass that requires more energy, which helps to burn off calories, leaving little or no fat to store in the body.
When you exercise you burn calories while building muscle, this means you replace unwanted fat with lean muscle, when this happens your body actually has the ability to burn calories even when you are not exercising.
Regular exercise is great for the eyes too.
It prevents Glaucoma, a condition in which there is irreversible loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve, leading to permanent blindness. It is one of the main causes of preventable blindness. Risk of Glaucoma and cataracts can be reduced by up to 50% when you exercise. Cataracts are a cloudy lining that covers the eye and in most instances the only remedy is surgery.
Exercise increases the blood flow in all organs within the body, including the eyes. This means that the increased blood flow eliminates dangerous toxins from the eye tissues, thereby improving eye health moving forward.
can be prevented by regular exercise.