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Exercise & Fitness for Women
Exercise helps you look and feel your best and improves your overall health. It provides you with a fit body and enables you to live energetically, enjoy life more, and improve your mental efficiency.
Fitness means having efficient circulation, muscular strength, flexibility, stamina and good balance. Regular physical activity minimizes the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, such as colon cancer, along with numerous other conditions.
For women in particular, exercise decreases the risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. These cancers are related to estrogen, and higher body fat is associated with higher levels of estrogen. Women who exercise regularly tend to be leaner, therefore having less stored estrogen.
It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, as well as reducing or improving symptoms of PMS and menopause, including depression and negative moods.
If the health benefits of exercise aren't convincing enough, studies have shown that regular exercise significantly increases life expectancy. The Nurse's Health Study, a 16-year study of 80,000 healthy women, found that those who are more physically active are at a reduced mortality risk than those who are less active. Aside from longevity, most women are also concerned with the quality of those extra years. Exercise plays an important role in keeping women more independent as they head into their advanced years.
Health, vitality and long life are desirable goals for everyone, but they are not achieved without effort. Cardiovascular exercises are most effective in improving fitness and health. If you have been inactive for a long period of time, it's important to start out slowly.
You can't get fit in a week, but you can get a long way towards it in a month. Safe and injury-free workouts require certain precautions before beginning a new exercise program, including seeing your healthcare practitioner first for a physical examination. Women over 50 should have an exercise stress test to check for any underlying heart problems.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spleen, liver and kidneys correspond to the muscles, tendons and bones. Your fitness program would benefit from integrating acupuncture and herbs, with the emphasis on tonifying and nourishing the muscles, tendons and bones. Regular acupuncture treatments and herbs are useful for preventing injuries as well as treating the pain and inflammation if you should suffer from an exercise injury.
SOMA Acupuncture offers a Metabolic Weight Management Program, if losing weight is one of your goals, which can be incorporated into your work-out routine. Ask us about the program and consider acupuncture and herbs for overall health maintenance and prevention.
Always choose an activity that you enjoy, so that there is less chance of dropping out. Don't make it a chore or a bore. You could buddy-up with a friend to keep each other on track. Dancing, swimming, walking and cycling are but a few of the ways to get you moving. Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none at all. Whether you want to improve your health or control your weight (or both), the important thing is to start exercising now. It's never too late to begin. Be sure to have fun though!