Well here we are, facing the end of Summer 2015. The sunny days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school and we are finding ourselves settling back into our normal day-to-day routines. For most of us, this time of year is a catalyst to get back to our exercise regimes and a more balanced and healthful diet. Especially after the 47 bbq's that we've attended over the past few months.

Most of us tend to get a bit off track during the lazy summer days, but remember for optimal health and fitness, exercise and proper nutrition needs to be LIFESTYLE and not just a switch that we flick on and off. The reality is that exercise and good nutrition KEEPS YOU YOUNG. That combo may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth that we have on the face of this earth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life. Studies show that just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that's required to reap major benefits. Throw some good eats in there and you have a true recipe for success!

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise and proper nutrition has surprised even doctors. Many health organizations suggest that regular physical activity and proper diet may do the following:

1. Keep you young. Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Cardiovascular exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults. 

2. Reduce risk of infection. Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds. Couple that with a balanced diet and your immune system will be in rockstar form.

3. Prevent heart attacks. Not only does exercise raise "good" HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Excluding processed foods from your diet that contain ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and large amounts of sugar can only help in the fight against heart disease!

4. Control blood sugar levels. In short, this significantly reduces cravings for things we should probably steer clear of. Exercise and proper diet helps maintain a healthy and stable blood-sugar level by increasing the cells' sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking and reducing processed sugar and starch intake can significantly cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

5. Protect against cancer. Exercise and clean eating may reduce the risk of colon-cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level. It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels. 

6. Combat stress. Regular exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. In short, attitude adjustment!

7. Prolong your life. Studies over many years have consistently shown that being active and eating well cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women. 

There really are no shortcuts or magic pills that can get us to our optimum. It's really simple....just move more and eat clean.

If you'd like to learn more about proper nutrition and exercise, please visit me at www.susanreardonwellness.com

In health,