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With more than a third of Americans classified as obese, everyone from first lady Michelle Obama to TV news anchor Katie Couric is advocating exercise to maintain a healthy weight. But staying slim and healthy is more than just fitting into that tight pair of skinny jeans!

Dr. Harry“That’s great, but there’s much more,” says Dr. Eudene Harry, author of “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps , A Practical Guide to Slowing Down the Aging Process From the Inside Out.” Dr. Harry shows how to increase the body’s resilience to stress, sickness and aging through evidence-based complementary medicine.

“Looking younger is an inside and outside job,” says Harry. “Botox and broccoli are not mutually exclusive.”

Dr. Harry knows what she’s talking about, holding both a bachelor’s degree in biology from New York University, and she has completed both her medical degree and residency training at Thomas Jefferson University. Currently the medical director for the integrative and holistic Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, located in Orlando, FL, she has practiced medicine for nearly 20 years, is board certified in both emergency and holistic medicine. In addition, she has practiced emergency medicine as an attending physician in Level II trauma centers for more than a decade. She also serves as the Medical Director for the Women’s Wellness Society, a national society focused on women’s health.

Here are some of Dr. Harry’s top reasons to get off your butt and start moving!

1) For one, it will give you younger looking, more blemish-free skin
Dr. Harry explains, “The increase in circulation and perspiration that occurs with exercise delivers more nutrients to your skin while allowing impurities and waste to be removed.The result? A healthier complexion!”

She adds four more hidden benefits of a good workout:

2) Natural “feel-good” chemicals
Exercise releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that boost your mood and make you feel happy, as well as relieving stress, and enhancing your self-esteem and self-confidence. Exercise has also been shown to increase neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a natural high and allows us to sleep better.

3) Constipation prevention
Exercise increases the contractions of the wall of the intestine, helping to move things along through the intestinal tract more easily, and decreasing the time it takes waste to pass through the large intestine. But remember to wait an hour or two after eating before exerting yourself. Exercising too soon after a meal can divert blood flow away from the gut and toward the muscles, weakening peristaltic contractions (and slowing down the digestion process). 

4) Prevents brittle bones
Walking, jogging, dancing, weight training and yoga are all weight-bearing exercises that help strengthen bones. Swimming and bicycling are exercises that are considered non-weight bearing. During weight-bearing exercises, bones adapt to the impact of the weight and the pull of muscles by building more bone cells, increasing strength and density and decreasing the risk of fractures, osteopenia and osteoporosis.

5) Enhanced immunity
Physical exertion increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream, resulting in better immunity against sickness. The increased temperature generated during moderate exercise makes it difficult for certain infectious organisms to survive.

Live younger in 8 simple steps“But don’t overdo your exercise, or you won’t see all of these benefits,” Dr. Harry cautions. “Check with a physician who can advise you on the right activities and intensity level for your individual needs,” she says.

“For all the benefits of exercise, there are down sides if you go at it too vigorously for your physical condition. For instance, you can actually increase stress hormones, which can make you more vulnerable to illness, rather than building your immunity.”

Be sure and check out the good doctor, as well as her awesome book “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps,” at her website / Issue 140 - September 3512
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