Power Surge: The Hidden Benefits of Exercise
Post-Workout BenefitsWithin One Day of Exercise...
You're adding lean muscle. If you did a strength-training routine, your muscles are now starting to rebuild themselves and repair the microscopic tears that come with lifting weights, says Paul Gordon, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Physical Activity at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor. Preliminary research shows that women respond to and recover from resistance training faster than men.
Your heart is healthier. One sweat session lowers your blood pressure for up to 16 hours.
FIT TIP: A vigorous workout is especially heart smart. Go for a run, hop on the elliptical, or take a dance class and your LDL levels will be lower than if you went for a brisk walk, according to research from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
You're a quick study. You're super alert and focused post-exercise. That's because a good workout increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, says Henriette van Praag, PhD, a researcher at the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore.
FIT TIP: After a workout is the perfect time to memorize a speech or tackle a tough project. Your brain is operating on all cylinders then, studies show.Within One Week of Regular Exercise...
Your risk of diabetes goes down. The more you work out, the greater your sensitivity to insulin. That, in turn, lowers your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
FIT TIP: Step up your routine and your results will be even better. People in a Canadian study who did six workouts of four to seven 30-second sprints followed by four-minute periods of recovery doubled their endurance within two weeks. Plus, you can burn more belly fat by doing intervals rather than keeping a steady pace, other research shows.
You're slimmer. Cutting 500 calories a day through exercise and diet will help you drop one pound a week.
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