Yes, exercise helps you burn fat. But if you want to stick to your program, you'll want to also focus on many of the other powerful benefits exercise offers women. Here's additional motivation to get off the couch.
Benefit # 1. Exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by keeping estrogen levels low.
Benefit # 2. Among women in the United States, coronary heart disease outpaces everything else, including breast cancer, as the leading cause of death. Fortunately, heart-smart workouts help make costly, risky medical procedures like coronary bypass operations unnecessary by lowering levels of artery-clogging blood cholesterol. Research shows that women who exercise have 25 percent more HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, and 20 percent less LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the bad cholesterol, than those in the low-fitness category. The HDL is desirable because it transports LDL away from the artery walls, where it tends to accumulate and slow or block the flow of blood to the heart.
Benefit # 3. Exercise improves the way you breathe and builds muscle. That makes groceries easier to carry, jars easier to open, and babies easier to hoist. It makes walking easier. It makes climbing stairs easier. It even makes chores like pushing a vacuum cleaner easier.
Benefit # 4. Exercise is one of the most effective ways to shake off a bad mood. If you've had a run-in with your boss, for instance, a brisk walk can help you recover from the stressful encounter. Performed regularly, exercise will help keep your moods from swinging dramatically whenever stressful events occur.
Benefit # 5. Exercise relieves menstrual discomfort by taming surging hormones, regulating ovulation, and reducing associated discomfort such as tender breasts, bloating, and anxiety.
Benefit # 6. Exercise eases changes associated with menopause. Experts are not sure exactly why, but one study showed that menopausal women who exercise moderately on a regular basis have more energy and less moodiness, anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, night sweats, and hot flashes than those who do not.
Benefit # 7. Exercise strengthens bones. As our bones age, they lose calcium and other minerals, a process known as osteoporosis. The slowdown in estrogen production that occurs at menopause can accelerate this process. The mineral loss makes the more porous bones break easily. Hip and wrist fractures are hallmarks of osteoporosis, as is a curved sine. Exercise can prevent or forestall the development of osteoporosis because it helps maintain and stimulate bone development and growth.