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Commentary: Exercise has great benefits

Every day we get up, stretch, and then flop back down on our beds, groaning as we fumble for the snooze alarm. We work too hard. We eat poor foods. We smoke. We drink. And we never get enough fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Exercise has benefits even if we do it in the house, even if we do it while watching television. Hey, you could be exercising right now while you are reading this article.

For every argument, excuse or whine that you have against exercise, I can debate the other side. You cannot beat me, so you might as well smile and lace up those sneakers, because I am going to tell you why daily exercise is exactly what you need.

Increased energy

You know that groan, fumble, snooze, grumble, fumble, panic and race thing you do every day before work? What if you had more energy every day? What if you were able to stretch, rub your eyes and then haul yourself out of bed, get dressed and go to work without the beat-the-clock drama?

Daily exercise gets your body going and not just while you are doing it. Your body will eventually learn to love the feeling of exercise and to crave it.

Increased metabolism

Your body is like a car. If you leave a car sitting for a long period of time, it will stop working even when you want it to. If you do not make your metabolism work, it will slow down and you will start to gain weight.

Daily exercise burns up calories (the amount will vary depending on what you do and how long you do it) and gets your metabolism revved up. The harder your metabolism works, the more fat you burn. And, if your exercise includes weight resistance training, you add muscle. Muscle burns fat around the clock; the more muscle you add, the more fat you burn.

You will sleep better

Daily exercise will get your physical self in proper order, but it will also relieve some of your daily stresses. Stress is one of the main reasons that most people do not get enough restful sleep and why they are tired and cranky in the mornings.

Exercise your way out of some of that stress and you may find yourself sleeping better.

You will feel better

Exercise releases in your body the feel-good hormones called endorphins. You will start to feel happy just thinking about exercise, especially if you find an exercise that you enjoy.

Do not do something that you hate because it is the latest thing or because some skinny-butt model swears by it. Do it because it makes you feel good, because you can’t wait to go for your run, or hit the yoga mat, or because running Zeke the Golden Retriever through the park is the highlight of your day.