It’s time to get pumped up about your health, fitness

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You’ll have more energy, sleep better, and find things that used to be hard are easier. In fact, you may find you do things more efficiently so you do seem to have more time in the day. You may not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but running up a flight of stairs will no longer leave you gasping.

Exercise has dramatic beneficial effects on your body. It increases your basal metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories and use more fat as fuel. This decreases the cholesterol in your bloodstream and lowers your percentage of body fat.

Weight-bearing, jumping and weight lifting exercise builds bones, making them stronger and thicker. This may be of particular importance to women, who have a high risk of developing osteoporosis — a thinning of the bones that makes them susceptible to fracture.

And important for busy people, exercise is a great stress reducer. In fact, we are designed to do something physical to burn up that adrenaline instead of having it stay in our bodies and cause irritability, lack of sleep, high blood pressure and more.

Exer-cise, when done regularly and for 45 minutes or more may also cause your body to release endorphins. These natural, calming, pain killing substances explain the so-called runner’s high and relaxed mood after exercise that lots of people experience. In many people exercise helps relieve depression and anxiety, and promotes relaxation and sleep.

People who work out have a better self-image and are happier with who they are. For all of us in this weight and image obsessed culture, working out will get uscloser to our inherited best body. Your own body, trained, not the image of a model in a magazine or a steroid pumped weight lifter. Your best body will result from working out in a healthy manner.

Get moving – keep moving and the results will follow.

Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professional and can be reached at nataliedreger.com.

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