Exercise

The biggest mistake I made in my health in recent years was sitting to much in front of my computer instead of getting up and getting some exercise. It may have been just another contributor to my heart attack in December 2014.  I know I had mentioned getting a gym membership for the new year.  I didn’t get started soon enough…I put it off and it cost me.  I do make exercise a priority now.

sitting down and death rateDid you know “sitting is the new smoking”? Exercise is a great way to extend the life in your years. You’ll be glad you did, because what you’ll find out, as I did, that when you burn energy (through exercise) you gain energy. Counterintuitive you say?

Best summed up in the quote I read today in Dr. Mercola’s daily post, Inspiring 100-Meter Dash for Athletes Near 100 Years Old:

Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist at New York University Medical Center, told CBS News:

“The adaptations the body makes to regular exercise are nothing short of “astounding,” she said. Aerobic exercise ignites the body’s immune system, improves mental function, boosts energy, strengthens muscles and bones, and reduces the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, she said.

“If we do not move, we will not be able to move,” Heller said. “‘Gee, I am so sorry I exercised today’ is something no one has ever said.””   CBS News January 15, 2015

Did you know…..?

According to Dr. Mercola’s article, exercise changes your body in the following ways:

exercise for musclesMuscles

Use glucose and ATP for contraction and movement. Tiny tears in your muscles make them grow bigger and stronger as they heal.  Gaining more muscle through resistance exercises has many benefits, from losing excess fat to maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing age-related muscle loss as you age. The intensity of your resistance training can achieve a number of beneficial changes on the molecular, enzymatic, hormonal, and chemical level in your body.

Lungs

As your muscles call for more oxygen, your breathing rate increases. The higher your VO2 max—your maximum capacity of oxygen use—the fitter you are.

exercise for heart healthHeart

Your heart rate increases with physical activity to supply more oxygenated blood to your muscles. The fitter you are, the more efficiently your heart can do this, allowing you to work out longer and harder. Your blood pressure will also decrease as a result of new blood vessels forming.

Brain

The increased blood flow also benefits your brain, allowing it to almost immediately function better. Exercising regularly also promotes the growth of new brain cells, boosting your capacity for memory and learning.  A number of neurotransmitters are also triggered, such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA. Some of these are well known for their role in mood control. Exercise, in fact, is one of the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for depression.

Joints and Bones

Exercise can place as much as five or six times more than your body weight on them. Weight-bearing exercise is one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, as your bones are very porous and soft, and as you get older your bones can easily become less dense and hence, more brittle — especially if you are inactive.


 

Today, not only do I own a Fitbit, but I strive to get some form of exercise daily. Two days a week I’m at my yoga class, one day a week is reserved for an hour of cardio rehab workout at the local hospital and on the alternate days I try to walk. Weather permitting I walk a mile on my road, sometimes stopping in to visit the neighbors for a spell. On the days that it rains or snows I sometimes go to the nearest mega mart, not to shop but merely to walk the aisles and stretch my legs.

Shirley TranquillI’m motivated to try some new yoga poses, 5 Simple Yoga Poses to Reduce Stubborn Belly Fat!  after seeing this posted on Facebook today. I’ll check with my yoga teach first before trying something new.  My yoga teacher is 75 years old and she is not only a great teacher, great motivator, but a great role model for everyone. Meet Shirley Tranquill, former gymnist coach for Mary Lou Retton and wife of Gary Tranquill, Retired coach, North Carolina Tarheels football team.

Here are three ideas to get you started:

  1.  Dr. Mercola shares some videos in his post today, Inspiring 100-Meter Dash for Athletes Near 100 Years Old, with easy exercises for seniors that you should try. It’s never to late to start exercising….the time is now.
  2. Find a yoga class (or other exercise class) at a fitness center near you. Ask your friends if they would like to join you.
  3. Join FMTV and get yoga videos online. Join here.
  4. Start doing the Daniel Plan, which includes doing exercise together.

 

 

Remember: If you’re just starting out, consult with a personal fitness trainer who can instruct you about proper form and technique. He or she can also help you develop a plan based on your unique fitness goals and one that is safe for any medical conditions you may have.