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Exercising together

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Did you know that regular exercise has internal as well as external benefits? Our body is made to move, but most of us sit throughout the day, which compromises our health and quality of life.

Here are ten ways regular exercise enhances our overall well-being:

1. Boost energy

As our heart rate rises during exercise, the extra blood being pumped brings oxygen and nutrients to all cells and tissues. These fuel our body and give energy levels a lift. If you're feeling tired, perk up by getting your blood flowing!

2. Enhance mood

Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, our body's feel-good chemicals. If you're feeling down, go for a jog or take a walk in the park. It will give you a brighter outlook!

3. Healthy pH balance

Increased oxygen from exercise lifts our pH to a healthy alkaline level. An acidic internal environment supports disease, including eczema, arthritis and even cancer. Alkaline minerals are drawn from our internal organs to neutralize this acid, which can lead to deficiencies in these areas. Increasing circulation boosts the flow of alkalizing oxygen, improving health and vitality.

4. Healthy weight loss

Exercise, paired with healthy food choices, is the best way to lose weight. It lifts our metabolism, increasing the rate at which we burn calories. A combination of fat-burning aerobic and muscle-building strength training will speed and enhance weight loss. Muscle burns around 50 times more energy than fat, so the more muscle we have the more calories we use.

5. Healthy weight gain

Some people struggle with gaining weight instead of losing it. The only way to gain healthy, lean muscle is through exercise and proper diet. Weight training or exercises involving moving your body dynamically, like push ups or chin ups, can help you gain strength as well as muscle mass.

6. Increase flexibility

Passive exercise in the form of stretching or yoga enhances flexibility - a vital aspect of fitness and longevity. Increased flexibility improves range of movement, providing greater mobility, reduced tension and improved quality of life.

7. Improve strength

Resistance training increases energy and slows the loss of strength that occurs as we grow older. Weight training, body weight exercises such as push-ups or using rubber cords are great ways to increase strength.

8. Enhance agility

Jumping for a rebounder, walking on the edge of a curb or hopping from side to side over a beam improves balance and coordination. These seemingly unchallenging exercises stimulate the brain and help our body adapt to new situations -- an important measure to take in slowing aging.

9. Remove toxins

Exercise enhances all aspects of our body's self-cleansing activities. Our lymphatic system relies on muscular movement and gravity to remove wastes from our cells. Sweating flushes and cleans our pores. The oxygenating effect of exercise also enhances our body's efforts to restore and rejuvenate.

10. Live better

Exercise improves the health of our entire body: stronger heart, controlled blood sugar levels, reduced fat, increased oxygen and better removal of wastes. These elements help our body fight disease and prevent illness -- the keys to a strong immune system and optimum health!

Give your whole family a lift by getting out for some exercise. It's a great way to spend quality time together while raising everybody's energy levels. Our modern lives often do not provide enough opportunities for us to burn off steam or extra pounds. The tips below can enhance your family's health, energy and even social life. Exercise is a vital element for health at any age. We all remember running from morning to night as kids, but the pressures of our adult lives -- our jobs, looking after our family, etc., -- do not provide the free time or the same opportunities we may have had as children.

Modern life

Things are different, however, for children today. Television, and computer games encourage children to stay inside, and the crowded cities we live in do not often provide space enough to kick a ball around outside. Increased pressure from schools causes our kids to not be as healthy as they should be.

A great opportunity for all

So, make the time, set a great example and get fit together. Sharing some healthy exercise as a family is a fun way to bond, develop healthy habits and get in shape. Give the following a try or enjoy your own favorites together.

Hiking

Enjoy your natural surroundings. We can all get to a park or the great outdoors on the weekends. Even the largest cities have some beautiful nature at their doorsteps, so go out and enjoy them. A walk in the fresh air will invigorate your family and melt away the stress of the past week.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to get fit while also getting away for the day. Biking allows us to explore places we ordinarily would not see. Bring along a lunch if you are heading out for the day. Many cities have cycling paths, and mountain biking is a great way to get to your favorite picnic spot.

The beach

If you are lucky enough to live near the seaside or waterfront, make the most of it. Beaches provide so many options for burning off pounds and improving your fitness. Swimming, rock-hopping, even walking on the soft sand is great exercise. The salty sea water is also full of minerals which enhance our metabolism, energy and health.

Join the club

If you are really stuck in the city, join a fitness club. Try tennis, swimming or other sports. Many cities have rock climbing walls to simulate a mountain environment. Clubs usually love families and often have different activities by age groups for mom, dad and the kids. This is a great way to let out competitive energy and enjoy making new, active friends.

Games at home

Even if you can't get out, there are always plenty of games you can play at home. Set up an obstacle course in the garden or play tag or ball games. If you live in an apartment you can do an exercise video together or have family competitions with sit-ups and push-ups. Playing hide and seek even gets the heart rate going and always gives the kids a laugh.

Bounce and bond

Rebounding on a mini trampoline is a fun exercise for all. It's easy on the joints, provides a great cardio workout and stimulates body detoxification as well as the immune system. A rebounder is an excellent way for the family to stay fit, especially if you're limited for space or live in a climate that's not conducive to exercising outdoors.

Today's Zaman

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/asianet/130415/exercising-together