Exercise Leads to a Stronger Immune System and Clearer Skin
More than a third of Americans are officially classified as obese, and everyone from first lady Michelle Obama to TV news anchor Katie Couric is advocating exercise to maintain a healthy weight. We talked to Dr. Eudene Harry, author of “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps,” about the benefits of exercise going far beyond fitting into skinny jeans.
For one, it will give you younger looking, more blemish-free skin. “The increase in circulation and perspiration that occurs with exercise delivers more nutrients to your skin while allowing impurities and waste to be removed,” said Harry, who combines years of emergency-room experience with holistic medicine.”
3 More Hidden Benefits of a Good Workout
• Natural “feel-good” chemicals: Exercise releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that boost your mood and make you feel happy, as well as relieve stress, and enhance your self-esteem and self-confidence. Exercise has also been shown to increase neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a natural high and allows us to sleep better.
• Constipation prevention: Exercise increases the contractions of the wall of the intestine, helping to move things along through the intestinal tract more easily, and decreasing the time it takes to pass through the large intestine. But wait an hour or two after eating before exerting yourself: Exercising too soon after a meal can divert blood flow away from the gut and toward the muscles, weakening peristaltic contractions (and slowing down the digestion process).
• Enhanced immunity: Physical exertion increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream, resulting in better immunity against sickness. The increased temperature generated during moderate exercise makes it difficult for certain infectious organisms to survive. Don’t overdo it though, or you won’t see all of these benefits, Harry said.
Dr. Eudene Harry completed both her medical degree and residency training at Thomas Jefferson University. Currently the medical director for the integrative and holistic Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, she has practiced medicine for nearly 20 years.
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