Be Active. Go Explore. Connect with Others.
What does it mean to Be Active? The first words of the 100 AL Miles Challenge encourage Alabamians to live a more active lifestyle. Exercise, especially exercise that gets our heart rate up, can be daunting for those of us who have never been very active. But there are many benefits that can encourage us to put ourselves out there and Be Active.
- Regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol levels while raising good cholesterol, as well as helping people with diabetes with their insulin sensitivity
- Increases life expectancy for people at risk of heart disease
- Exercise builds muscles. That seems obvious. But muscles do much more than make us look good or let us lift heavy things! Muscles protect our organs and bones. Stronger muscles make you more resistant to injury overall.
- Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes improves your thinking and memory functions
- Increased heart rate pumps more blood and more oxygen to the brain
- Running can release hormones that promote the growth of brain cells and lower stress hormones
- Harvard Medical School recently found that after regular exercise for 6 months to a year the volume of selected brain regions increased! (and all of the research was just done on walkers!)
30 minutes of exercise a day, every day for adults is ideal to maximize benefits. It can even be broken up into 3 10-minute sessions! Short of breath? GOOD! If you find yourself tired and sweating even after a little exercise, that means you are making progress! Remember everyone should go at their own pace. Don’t be discouraged by how much or how long you can exercise, focus on improving yourself. We believe creating a better Alabama begins with creating a better you!
For more information on how to start exercising safely, see https://100alabamamiles.org/content/know-you-go.