It’s Not What You Look Like On the Outside . . .

Jennifer_Stephens_3As I was running this weekend I was discussing the purpose of exercise with a fellow runner. Exercise is about moving and becoming healthy. The goal should not be about what we look like on the outside. It should be about what we look like on the inside. We can be skinny and not be healthy — shocking but true . . .  How is your heart pumping? How is the blood flow to your heart? What are your cholesterol levels? What is your blood pressure? These are the questions we should be asking, not what size of bikini to buy. At a counseling session for her cholesterol blood test results, a lady once said to me, “I am not worried about my weight — I will never wear a bikini!” I responded that it is not about whether you can wear a bikini. Instead, it’s about whether you will wake up tomorrow or have a heart attack today. Our society focuses too much on the outside and not enough on the inside. I see posts every day on my Facebook page from individuals who are ready to start the next fad diet, take the next promise pill, or go into surgery for cosmetic reasons. In reality, if we as a society would concentrate on what is happening on the inside of our bodies, then the outside of our bodies would align.

A very important benefit of running is that it increases your HDL (good cholesterol). One of the functions of HDL is that it pushes out the LDL (bad cholesterol) through the liver. When you have more good cholesterol than bad cholesterol the blood flows easier, which makes your heart not have to work as hard, which lowers blood pressure and the risk of having a stroke or heart attack. I like the way WebMD puts it: “HDL cholesterol acts as a maintenance crew for the inner walls (endothelium) of blood vessels. Damage to the inner walls is the first step in the process of atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and strokes. HDL scrubs the wall clean and keeps it healthy.”

Join me and our Fit First Running Group this Saturday as we work on making changes from the inside out!!

See you on the trails!

Jennifer

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