The Importance of Leg Exercises for Your Overall Health
There are two words that you always hear mentioned together when people are talking about getting healthier. Those words are “Diet and Exercise”. Ever since we were children, we’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”, because everything you consume gets absorbed in your bloodstream and becomes part of your body.
As adults, we have seen our metabolism level off and slow down over the years. When we try to lose weight, it’s much harder now than it was in our teens and early 20’s because it takes more effort to get our bodies into calorie burning mode. Many doctors agree that after you are in your 20’s and beyond, most of the excess weight you gain can be controlled by what you consume. Those same doctors will still tell you that eating right is not enough to keep your body in good health.
Exercise is extremely important for overall health because it works out our muscles, improves our circulation, breathing, and has a positive impact on our vital organs. Exercising is like putting our bodies in Express Clean-Out mode. The same way drinking extra water helps flush the junk out of your system, exercising and sweating cleans out your pores and excess body debris, like broken down muscle tissue.
So why are we putting a big emphasis on leg exercises? Couldn’t I get in great shape by swimming or lifting weights? Yes, you can, but we believe legs are the most important part of your body to work out because they are your largest muscle group. If weight loss is your goal, the way to burn the most calories is to work out your biggest muscles that require the most energy. Many people think doing sit-ups will help them lose their beer belly, when in reality it will only give them stronger abs underneath their gut. If you really plan on losing all that weight through sit-ups, you will have to do several thousand each day.
Look at distance runners. They are some of the skinniest and healthiest people you will ever meet. We are not suggesting that the skinnier you are makes you healthier, because there is a point when you can become malnourished. But distance runners are always exercising their legs (lots of running) and they never have obesity problems.
Leg exercises don’t only benefit your health in terms of weight loss, but it can help solve other problems like back and neck pain. Many chiropractors will tell you that most back and neck problems come from two sources: bad posture, and imperfections in your walking, which start down at your feet. If you slouch, or are hunched over a lot, it would be a good idea to do some upper body stretching and strengthening to fix your posture. However, if your back and neck pain comes from the way you walk, you might be able to correct some of it with leg exercises.
First, you will probably want a good shoe insert, but how will leg exercises solve a problem that starts in my feet? Well, with any muscle in your body, when it is weak or out of shape, it does not hold your skeletal system in as good of alignment, and there is a higher chance that your joints will be moving out of proper alignment; even if this just a minor misalignment. When it comes to nerves and bulging disks, it doesn’t take much to send a sharp spasm of pain through your body.
When neck pains start from your feet, it’s because your ankles are out of line, which throws your knees off, then your hips, your back, shoulders, and then your neck. Having strong, healthy legs will keep your ankles and knees in much better alignment, and you will have more stability to withstand a fall or sudden impact without long term damage.
Finally, your legs are what carry you around. If you have weak legs it will always be a struggle for you to get out of the house and keep up an active lifestyle. Doctors say that a sedentary lifestyle is the cause for more premature deaths and severe health problems than cigarette smoking. So when get yourself out of the house, remember to give your legs a little extra work. You might walk funny for a few days, but in the long run you’ll be doing your body a huge favor. And don’t forget to keep eating healthy meals.
Source by Adam Ricci