Health:
Staying in Shape
from Deena's "Nutritional Guidelines" Booklet


(New York-WABC, September 15, 2003) — Doctors say there's another reason women really need to stay in shape. Another study has shown exercise also decreases the risk of early death in men, but not by as much as it does in women.

Having diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol puts people at higher risk of heart disease, and in turn, death. But a new study says that in women there is a risk factor that is a stronger predictor of death than these others. We all want to live long, healthy lives and whereas we cant control some things, there are other things we can control. To increase our chances of a long healthy life, like, don't smoke, eat lots of vegetables, keep a good body weight, exercise. This new study in women says fitness is a very strong predictor of staying alive.

Excerpt from “Study Finds Exercise Even More Crucial For Long Life in Women” ABC Health Online by Dr. Jay Aldersburg


Walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism.

Strength training increases the body's metabolic rate. This helps your body to burn more calories throughout the day. One enjoyable way to benefit from strength training is to join the thousands of women who workout at Curves for Women.

Curves for Women offers a 30-minute total body work-out based on increasing cardiovascular health and building muscle tissue through strength training. The exercise program is based on “circuit training,” in which members move from station to station using 12 pieces of hydraulic resistance equipment, getting a total body strength-training workout in just 30 minutes. Member conclude their workout with several stretches. And why should we stretch?

Stretching:

Increases range of motion and muscle flexibility: When muscles are tight, everyday tasks that involve reaching, bending and turning are more difficult. Stretching improves the ease of muscles crossing the joints, maintaining and increasing your range of motion. It also lengthens the muscle to increase flexibility.

Keeps muscles healthy: Think of your muscles as a sponge. If the sponge is dry and you pull on it, it will easily tear and crumble. If the sponge has been dampened, you have a more pliable and flexible material with which to work. Stretching encourages the release of muscle lubricants so that the muscles stay well hydrated and functional.

Improves blood circulation: Stretching boosts muscle temperature, making it more pliable. It also increases blood circulation providing a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to the working and injured muscles. Stretching after exercise (as opposed to resting) will speed up the removal of unwanted waste products, thus reducing soreness and stiffness.

Improves balance and posture: Tight muscles, which tend to be weaker and shorter, contribute significantly to a slumped posture. Stretching helps lengthen and strengthen muscle and realign soft tissue structures to improve stance and balance. Relieves stress: Muscles contract when they are stressed and can become stiff and painful. Stretching decreases neuromuscular tension to promote relaxation and reduce the accompanying stress.

Maintains normal muscle function with aging: Muscle loses elasticity with time, while activity tends to decrease with age. This cause-and-effect relationship results in muscle-joint stiffness, making muscles and tendons more susceptible to tears, aches and pains, hindering normal day-to-day activity.
Deena Ministries is a ministry of Owings Presbyterian Church in Owings, SC.
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