During quarantine, some have had more free time to walk in the park and stay active. Movement becomes a daily habit because our body craves workouts and our image in the mirror becomes more appealing. Body fat decreases and muscle mass increases. Therefore, that goal of fitting into that perfect dress or suit is much more realistically attainable. Our body now displays bigger biceps, a flatter stomach and better posture. Externally we improve and for many of us this is why we began to exercise. Sure, exercise improves outward appearance, but the internal benefit is just as important, positively affecting our brain and immune system.

Especially during this time in our life, we want to stay healthy and fight off disease, viruses, and colds. Any movement that can elevate heart rate for 30 minutes a day can help you live a longer and more wholesome life. During exercise, the body helps fight illnesses by preventing bacteria from growing. The elevation in body temperature during exercise can help fight infection. White blood count changes and circulates more rapidly, so it can detect illness at an earlier stage.

Some examples of foods that boost your immune system are: watermelon, ginger, pomegranate juice, sweet potato, oysters and chicken soup. A major immune system boosting mineral is zinc.If you do not have enough zinc in your diet you tend to have fewer white blood cells to help fight off diseases.

Studies show that performing aerobic exercise, such as dance, in the early onset of Alzeimers, can improve memory and reduce atrophy in the brain. Foods such as leafy greens, fish, and berries help our brain stay sharp. Diets that are high in trans fats, (i.e., french fries) can lead to poor memory, reduced processing skills and poor comprehension.

According to Norton Cardiologist Dr.Ponnattu Cherian, physical activity and healthy eating is the key component in achieving a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. Heart disease, hypertension,diabetes, obesity, and mental health disorders are preventable or can be controlled. This will add a minimum of 10 healthy years to your life.

So, why exercise and eat healthy? We want to look our best externally, but the most important component is a healthy inside. If we aim to reduce stress internally, we can improve our lives externally. Be healthy from the inside out.

Posted on 2020-07-08 by By Alison Cardoza • Photos by Dick Arnspiger