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Importance of Adding a Workout to Your Overall Wellness Plan

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) has reported that 69% of adult Americans are overweight or obese. This means most of us have a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or higher and are overweight or obese. To calculate your BMI, click here.

BMI is used primarily as a ballpark measure, as it is calculated using your height and weight. Someone who has more muscle mass than the average person will get skewed results from a BMI calculation, simply because muscle weighs more than fat but the BMI calculator does not take that into consideration. For the rest of us, however, BMI is a very reliable way to keep an eye on our health and wellness and stay at a healthy weight.

Weight Loss, Fitness and Diet

Being skinny with horrible eating habits does not mean you are healthier. You may get a low BMI calculation that says you are at a normal or even under weight. Unfortunately, the BMI calculator is not capable of measuring your heart health, cholesterol, or level of fitness. This is why incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is so important. Daily exercise combined with clean eating is the only way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight while keeping your heart healthy and LDL cholesterol levels low.

Stress Fat

Exercise has also been proven to reduce stress, which is a major challenge for most of us. We stress about money, family, running a household, doing well at work or school. This type of constant stress makes us fat. When stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which is responsible mostly for the fat that accumulates around your middle. A fat waistline means you are at a much higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Eating healthy is one part of the remedy; cutting down on or eliminating caffeine is another way to reduce your stress levels, but the best way all around is EXERCISE.

Exercise

A good exercise routine will include cardio, weight training, and flexibility exercises. Cardio is what gets your heart rate up, which is absolutely essential for people trying to lose weight. You will not lose weight unless you increase your heart rate. According to a study published by WebMD, achieving 60%-75% of your maximum heart rate and keeping it there for 30 minutes, three to four times per week is optimal for weight loss and overall health and wellness. This can easily be achieved by a brisk 30 minute walk either outside or on a treadmill in a gym. Brisk walking is also a perfect way to warm up your muscles before doing other types of exercise, such as weight training or yoga.

Yoga

Yoga is the perfect way to achieve not only physical fitness, but emotional balance as well. You can make yoga your workout of choice, or you can add it to your existing workout routine. Either way, with yoga you will experience new levels of flexibility, endurance and clarity of mind. Whichever workout you choose the key to overall health and fitness is a clean diet and a regular, consistent exercise routine.

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