10 Amazing Benefits of Exercise and Fitness

10 Amazing Benefits of Exercise and Fitness

1. Exercise Super Charges Brainpower

Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. All that makes for a more productive day and a happier employee which equate to better employee retention.

People who are active and who exercise are much more productive at work. Improved productivity not only makes you a better worker, it makes things better for everyone in the workplace. Companies with less wasted work hours and less sick time end up with lower health care costs--and an improved bottom line. That is why so many companies either have gyms at their offices or help to pay for employees to have gym memberships.

photo of man holding a book

2. De-stress with Exercise and Body Movement

As much as it may stress people out to think about exercising, once they actually start working out, studies show they experience less stress in every part of your life.

Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. He says it also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.

You're not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. When you are less stressed, you are less irritable, and that could improve relationships with your partner, kids, and co-workers. People will feel more satisfied in their daily roles and more accomplished in their everyday tasks.

3. Exercise Provides People with Energy

You might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout DVD for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise, people feel much more energized the rest of the day.

And when you improve your strength and stamina, it's easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.

A common excuse for people dodging regular exercise is that they are too tired to exercise. Know that while exercise may make people feel more tired at first, it does not last long, and will actually provide more energy in the long run, even immediately after you finish your exercise routine. The physical tiredness you feel after working out isn't the same as everyday fatigue. Once your body adjusts to exercise, you'll have more energy than ever.

4. Time for Fitness is Easy to Find

Take your kids to the park or ride bikes together, and you're getting physical activity while enjoying family time, he says. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard.

Also, forget the idea that you have to trudge to the gym and spend an hour or more doing a formal workout. Instead, you can work short spurts of physical activity into your day. Movement is key. No weights are required for exercising to count. Walking one hour a day can equate to 10,000 steps, the recommended number of steps to keep your body at a good physical functioning level.

Indeed, squeezing in two or three bouts of 15 or 20 minutes of activity is just as effective as doing it all at once. Vacuuming the house in the morning, riding bikes in the park with the kids in the afternoon, taking a brisk walk in the evening or doing some gardening in the backyard, can add up to an active day.

Recent U.S. government guidelines say that to lose weight and keep it weight off, you should accumulate at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. But half an hour a day of quality exercise like interval training or anaerobic cardio is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.

man planting plant

5. Fitness Builds Better Relationships

Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it's with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week.

Not only that, exercise is always more fun when there is someone to do it with and hold you accountable. Engaging in positive actions together is good for the spirit, mind and the body. Joining a social fitness network or walking with your family or spouse, after meals, or meeting up with people at the dog park for a stroll around the puppy terrain, can help people reach their exercise and fitness goals so much more efficiently than doing it alone.

6. Exercise Helps Ward off Disease

Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis(boneloss), and loss of muscle mass. It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process by strengthening the blood vessels, muscles, and joints, and even boosts immune function so you have a lesser chance of coming down with the cold or flu.

In response to your muscles needing more oxygen, your body will grow more capillaries to deliver more oxygen faster going forward. In addition, over time, regular exercise will make your blood vessels become more flexible allowing them to deliver more oxygen rich blood more efficiently. And if that wasn’t enough, the increased blood flow in your blood vessels serves to clean out excess cholesterol, keeping you free of clogs which can cause strokes and heart attacks.

On a cellular level, exercise benefits the power machines, called mitochondria, in each of the cells in the body by producing energy by and combining oxygen and glucose(orother fuel molecules). This combination produces ATP which is the molecule that gives your cells the energy they need to do their cellular work. When people exercise regularly, the body creates more and stronger mitochondria in each of the cells, making them more powerful and giving them more endurance for everything in life!

7. Fitness Pumps Up The Heart

Not only does exercise help fight disease, it creates a stronger heart--the most important muscle in the body. That helps makes exercise--and the activities of daily life—feel easier.

When you train over a period of time your heart will grow in size, allowing it to pump a larger volume of blood with each stroke(orpump). This allows more oxygen to be delivered to all the cells in your body. At the same time, your heart will build up less plaque and becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping blood.

Within only a couple of days after you start exercising, the body readily adapts to the stimulus it's getting and it becomes easier. You will feel less fatigue. It will not take as much effort when it comes to breathing. You shouldn't have as much pain or soreness.

8. Exercise Lets You Eat More

You've heard this one before: pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher the resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising.

Why is metabolism boosting so great? Jump start your metabolism through exercise(especially strength training and interval work) will allow your body to burn more fat and use up more energy while existing, so that you can eat more(healthier foods are the best). Once most people begin exercising and seeing the body changes, they desire to be healthier in the eating category and opt to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less of the processed and fatty foods. Our bodies will actually tell us what it needs in the form of cravings. So listen to the good words that your body is asking for and tap into healthier foods the body needs to fuel workouts. People who do move their bodies will be able to eat(inmoderation)  more of a variety of foods(eventhe bad kinds) than those who do not.


9. Exercise Boosts Performance

In just a short few weeks of consistent exercise, most people will begin to see differences, from how your clothes fit on the body to a more toned physique. You man even begin to notice that the same cardio exercises may become easier to complete, or that your basketball, golf, soccer or tennis game is a little bit better? Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, better your balance and reaction time; as well improve your overall performance.

When people use their muscles beyond what they can handle, either through aerobic exercise or weight bearing exercise, it causes the body to build new muscle tissue. Tiny tears can occur with weight lifting, and when these tears are repaired, this is what causes the muscle to become larger and more defined. Larger, stronger muscles will raise your metabolism making weight management easier.

10. Exercise For More Reasons Than Weight Loss

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program. The long-term goal of weight loss is not enforced enough to people new to exercise or starting fitness programs, and this is not sustainable and can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don't see results quickly, and if they are looking for a quick fix.

Do not make losing weight your only goal when starting an exercise program or exercising in general. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, increase optimal functioning of the body, and erase the aging process, to be more grounded and to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you, like appreciate the time you take for yourself, to feel a great sense of accomplishment every day you sweat, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.

Breathe Deep and Let Go of Stress

When you think about your breath as being your link to life, it takes on a whole new meaning. In our fast-paced lives, most of us forget to breathe fully as everything occupies our minds, except for breathing.  We are often so caught up in meeting the needs of our family, work, etc., that we fail to nurture ourselves.

When my daughter was born I noticed how every single part of her body moved with her breath. It reminded me that deep breathing is as natural to us as it is a child, and it fades away as we get older unless we pay it some attention.

When our body identifies stress, it begins to produce stress hormones, which increases our respiration levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. How often during the day do you catch yourself holding your breath, clenching your jaw, or grinding your teeth at night while you sleep?

When people hold tension in their bodies, there is a natural tendency to only breathe from the chest (also known as shallow breathing). Every time we are faced with a stressful situation, these are the very times we need to be able to automatically incorporate breathing techniques, even if it's only for a few seconds.  

Luckily, we can respond to that stress and alleviate the body's response simply by breathing deep.

Deep breathing is a must for the detoxifying of the body, the continuation of life, and it feels so good.

The simple act of breathing in itself is so important for many of our bodily functions. When we breathe in deeply, we cleanse our body with fresh oxygenated blood. Holding our breath or shallow breathing can hurt this perfect ability of our bodies to produce fresh oxygenated blood.

This can cause a number of problems including improper digestion, exhaustion, and anxiety within the body eventually leading to overall poor health and a lack of coping ability.

❖ You can start to get more in touch with your breathing by simply lying down wherever you're comfortable; the floor, a bed, a couch, wherever- just make sure you will not be interrupted.
❖ Relax your legs, arms, and entire body.  Close your eyes. Relax your facial muscles, your tongue and the space between your eyebrows.
❖ Take in a deep breath through your nose. When you inhale, your lungs and your body's midsection should move as one. As you breathe out, it should feel as if your stomach is releasing the air you've just taken in.
❖ Now place one of your hands on your belly and one on your chest cavity. Breathe deeply through your nose into your belly area to move your hand up as much as you are able.
❖ The hand on your chest should just barely move, and it should only move when the hand on your midsection does.
❖You should keep going with this process until it becomes as natural as possible.

Now as you are doing this, try smiling as you take air in through your nose, and as you exhale, the breath should make a gentle noise, as the wind might make in the trees on a breezy day. Sense what you are feeling. When you first start this exercise, do it for five minutes. Try to work your way up to twenty minutes. Once you've finished, spend a few minutes without moving to allow your body to simply exist for a few moments.

Stress - What it Does to Your Body

Stress - What it Does to Your Body


Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you —and many things that you do yourself—put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress -- a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Consider the following:

✦ 43 % of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
✦ 75% to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
✦ Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
✦ The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace.
✦ Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
✦ The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.
✦ Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn't mean that life is free from stress.

On the contrary, you undoubtedly face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet, taking care of your family, or just making it through the morning rush hour. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result, you may feel as if you're constantly under assault but remember: you do not have to let stress control your life.

Understanding the natural stress response

If your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That's because your body's "fight-or-flight reaction" — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.

When you encounter perceived threats — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.

Stress Overload

The body's stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases hormone levels and enables your body to return to normal once a perceived threat has passed. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when the stressors of your life are always present, leaving you constantly feeling stressed, tense, nervous or on edge, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The less control you have over potentially stress-inducing events and the more uncertainty they create, the more likely you are to feel stressed. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contribute to your body's stress response.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body's processes.

This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

⚠ Heart disease
⚠ Sleep problems
⚠ Digestive problems
⚠ Depression
⚠ Obesity
⚠ Memory impairment
⚠ Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
⚠ Lower gastrointestinal functions
⚠ Lower immune reaction -> higher risk for infections
⚠ Lower sexual functions

Sources: MayoClinic, WebMD, WomensHealth.com

Gain Mental Clarity and Melt Away Stress

Gain Mental Clarity and Melt Away Stress

Our brains are like amazing, super powerful computers. Think of each of our brains (computer) as having a certain amount of RAM which determines its processing capacity. The more applications the “computer” is running, the more RAM is used and the slower the computer gets.

This RAM is used for all kinds of brain work, from thinking, recalling, analyzing, to the subconscious actions. The key goal for mental clarity is to have as much free RAM as possible to function at the top capacity of your brain.  

We know that not all our potential RAM is available when we want them. At least half is occupied with mental clutter—thoughts running in the background such as of things we have to do, regret doing, like to do and anxiety over things we have not thought of doing yet.

The majority of the clutter and noise in our heads is triggered by the infinite external stimuli all around us. From the second people wake up in the morning, to when they sleep for the night, we are all exposed to stimuli from the environment.

Especially with all the technological gadgets and screens that funnel information and “noise”, the more active contact people have with the world, the more stimuli they are exposed to.

From your workplace to the home, mass media, intentional marketing and man-made expressions of diversity are perverse. Even if you live like a monk or hermit, you will still be faced with your own set of external stimuli.

Just like eating healthy and nurturing our body with exercise and body movement, it is very important to observe and care for our mental activity, through introspection, journaling, or meditation (to name a few).

Think of mind clutter as the unimportant programs and applications running in your computer. You don’t need them for your computer to function.

By virtue of them running in the background, they slow down the computer and use precious resources. When we do not address the clutter, we risk jamming the computer altogether and a possible “crash” in the system when we reach a point of non-adaptability.   

Speaking of meditation, scientifically speaking, a specific type of transcendental or Vedic mediation has proven to clear mental clutter and absolve the body’s stored stress and noise in the head.

Please see other articles on meditation on this site for more in-depth explanations. It is proven: people who meditate, feel calmer and experience clearer states of minds.

Meditation is one of the most powerful ways of clearing the body of stress and turns the biological clock back years! Think of it as a natural and almost effortless anti-aging form of mind and body therapy.

However, sometimes people do not know how to properly meditate or push against mind clearing and distressing via transcendental meditation. Have a heart. There are other ways to clean up the mind clutter!

Journaling or brain dumping is a great way to release stored stresses and clear the mind.

1. Pick a medium of writing

Either pen/paper or a for the modern tech person, your favorite electronic gadget (computer, tablet, iPhone, or the like).

My pick is my daily journal that looks like a calendar but has a bigger everyday space to jot down important extra notes.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still like using cursive when I get a chance. Plus, when I review the year or previous years, I can remember the events in my life, how I felt during them and notice any patterns that can help me change undesirable behaviors. 

2. If you do choose to write in a traditional journal, blog or type

Simply let your emotions and feelings flow onto paper. Write whatever is on your mind onto the paper. No need to be formal or overthink it.

3. 10 to 15 minutes, or however long it takes for your mind to feel clearer is all that is needed.

Using writing to clear the clutter in our mind is an effective way of processing clutter, even more than sleep. With this exercise, it is the speed you write which determines how fast it gets processed. If you type fast, you can process a lot of clutter really quickly.

Another way to clear mental clutter and distress is by using a special breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing to calm the mind, relax the physical body. It will also help you to feel mentally alert.

1.       Begin to breathe slowly and deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth in a steady circular rhythm.

If you can, close your eyes, but this is not essential. Think of nothing but your breathing. Focus on drawing the pure air into your lungs and breathing away any stale air.

2.       Push the stomach out so that it expands with your in-breath (inhalation).

Then, as you exhale, the stomach goes in and the chest slightly expands. Practice this breathing cycle for a while until it comes naturally.

3.       Once you have mastered the practice of diaphragmatic breathing, you can add on the following to the technique.

Continue with the diaphragmatic breathing and make each in-breath last as long as possible so that you fill all of your lungs. Then, when the lungs are full, at the top of your breath hold it for three seconds. One, two, three.

4.       Exhale very slowly and count to five as you do so.

Continue with this pattern keeping your breathing slow and steady. You will soon begin to feel physically relaxed and mentally calm.

Start any of these exercises and you will see the difference almost immediately.

9 Natural Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu

9 Natural Ways to Prevent the Cold and Flu


Flu season or not, adopting sound lifestyle habits that boost your immune system and keep you healthy are on most everyone's minds, especially with current pandemic considerations.

Always be mindful and prepared during these current global and local health measures and before the weather changes, as we dive into another season (fall).  Unless you have countless hours of sick days you wish to cash in or love leaving your health to chance,  healthy, holistic and preventative measures are the best rules of thumb when trying to outsmart your body from sinking into feeling like it's got the flu or cold, which can both leave you feeling icky, to say the least. (And no one likes to continue working from home, or teach virtual homeschool while feeling like a sack of potatoes).

Below are my favorite natural and beneficial ways to prevent the flu, whether you are 2 years old or 90!

1. Get lots of sunshine & fresh air outdoors!

Unless you are living where there are fires and smoke that have colored your sky orange and the health index for quality air is in the unhealthy/dangerous range, get outdoors!!! People who get a good dose of vitamin D from the sun (at least 15 min a day) and utilize Mother Nature's fresh air will not only have their moods lifted but also create more serotonin (the feel-good hormones) released into the body.

Vitamin D boosts the immune system, just like eating mushrooms, (filled with vitamin D). People who feel better mentally and physically have stronger immune systems and will most likely avoid getting sick.

2. Wash your hands often & Don't touch eyes/mouth

Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially for children, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, and/or using alcohol-based anti-bacterial hand rub when water and soap are not available will decrease the chance of getting sick by 65-80 percent!


3. Staying away from populated places, especially enclosed areas

When flu season is at its peak (mid-October through January), try to avoid going to extremely populated and enclosed areas where re-circulated air and germs can proliferate and infiltrate your body.

Top places with germs:

☉ restaurants (especially the bathrooms, menus, condiment dispensers)
☉ airplane/airport bathrooms
☉ grocery store and/or shopping carts
☉ gymnasiums and workout rooms
☉ malls
☉ doctor's offices

4. Get good rest

When your body is well rested, your immune system is up and all defenses are ready to keep your body well.

A lack of quality sleep deletes the body's ability to fight off foreign invaders. Even 20 minute cat naps in the middle of the day will help!

Shut down all electronically devices 2 hours before going to bed so the brain and optic nerves prepare for melatonin release and a good night's rest.

Adults, try to aim for 7-9 hours, and children 12-14 hours!

Make sure to limit caffeine and stimulating foods for before 2 pm, and sleep without electronics by your side (at least 5 feet away) and without lights.


5. Meditate, exercise or other stress release

I have recorded more than 30 episodes on mindfulness and meditation/stress relief on Apple and other podcast platforms. Check them out! It's called "Braincation with Dr. Nancy Lin" . Click on the link to access for free!

Perhaps on of the precursors to a cold or the flu is a compromised immune system, and the fastest way to deplete those defenses is stress.

The holidays can be very stressful with holiday shopping, family reunions, traveling, changing of the weather, deadlines for the end of the year and all the festivity celebrations can leave us feeling overwhelmed.

Without a routine stress release (through exercising, crafting, journaling, yoga, meditation or which ever else you call stress release), this hustle and bustle of the fall/winter season is not sustainable and will invite colds and flus to overtake the body.

Exercising creates good endorphins and lifts up the mood and boosts the immune system as well. Find a way to channel your stress.


6. Eat and drink your fruits and veggies!

Boost your immune system from the inside out and build an armor of strength and good feeling with the foods you choose to eat and drink.

I suggest a green drink or two a day (green apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, celery, ginger, parsley and lemon) and try eating 5-7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.

These live foods are choc filled with phytochemicals and micronutrients to rid the body of foreign invaders that aim to weaken the body's optimal wellness functioning.

Also, pay attention to what is local and in season. Eating those foods will ensure that the most amount of vitamins and minerals are present.

7. Oils, Oils, Oils

Don't forget to utilize your oils!

Good oils that you can consume from foods (coconut oils, omega 3 oils, hemp and flaxseed oils) as well as essential oils that can be diffused into the air, used on or in the body as anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial.

For more information on essential oils, please visit  hmydoterra.com/truthnhealth.


8. Probiotics

Make sure you and your family take daily doses of probiotics.

These are the good bacteria in the gut that helps to stave off colds and the flu, maintains the homeostasis in the gut and re-balances the bacteria we need in our bodies that are destroyed by antibiotics.

Also, eat regular (not too much) amounts of fermented foods with naturally occurring probiotics (Greek yogurt, miso, tempeh, kimchi, coconut kefir and sauerkraut.


9. Elderberry, Colostrum and Water

These three are bonuses when boosting the immune system.

♢ Elderberry syrup

This is packed with vitamins A, B and C, but it also stimulates the immune system, has been shown to prevent colds and the flu, and tastes delicious.

It is available for children and adults.

♢ Colostrum

It is the "liquid gold" that comes from the pre-milk of a newly mothered cow. It is filled with live antibodies and is frozen and encapsulated or made into powdered form.

♢ Water

Drinking water and staying hydrated is your best everyday habit to fight against possible flu and cold season.

Also, keep the humidifier handy in your sleeping room. When the weather changes to cold, it is often dry as well.

Dry weather does not allow the body to produce mucus, which is a great first defense to protecting our bodies from foreign invaders. Infuse humidifiers with essential oils for a double dose of protection.


Sources: Health.com, CDC.com, WebMD.com, foxnews.com