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Benefits of exercise

Weight control

  • Exercise is the best way to lose weight, and has the added benefit of building strength. It increases the basal metabolic rate - the effect being that you burn more calories whilst resting and not just while exercising.
  • Muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat, so a person who exercises burns more calories while sleeping than someone who never exercises.
  • Muscles become more shapely and defined - many women worry that if they exercise, they will develop muscles like men, but this won't happen because they do not have the same hormones (androgens) that men have.
  • Essentially, exercise ultimately makes us stronger, fitter and more confident.

Cardiovascular fitness

Continuous aerobic exercise at a target heart rate appropriate for the individual, performed for 20 to 60 minutes three to five times a week for six weeks, trains the whole cardiovascular system.

  • Cardiovascular fitness not only improves the capability of the heart and lungs to pump and oxygenate blood; it also lowers the resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Regular exercisers have lower levels of total cholesterol and a higher ratio of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to low-density cholesterol, thus increasing the 'good' form of cholesterol and decreasing the 'bad'.

Bone density

Between the ages of 18 and 30 years, women make deposits of bone mineral in their skeleton, and although they have reached their maximum height they are still putting deposits in their bone bank. Weight-bearing and strength training exercise, regular menstrual cycles and adequate nutrition help maximise this skeletal consolidation.

There are several benefits to making these deposits into your bone bank.

  • The denser the bones during this time, the more bone mass a woman has for the rest of her life.
  • Healthy bone mass decreases a woman’s chances of developing osteoporosis.
  • Two key ingredients for healthy bones are normal menstruation and adequate nutrition, including a calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams (mg) each day
  • Appropriate weight-bearing exercise allows women to achieve their maximum bone density.