Exercise – just hearing the word itself causes a shrieking reaction from many Americans. Maybe it’s the mental thoughts and images of difficult and strenuous activities that most of us relate with the act of exercising. Whatever the cause may be, the effect is keeping about 76% of us Americans from consecutive exercise. It is time to destroy the myth that you have to be in athlete shape in order to exercise; because in reality, many pleasurable activities can be exercise, yet not really feel like it. Give yourself a dose of the best medicine out there by discovering a couple of enjoyable activities that you can realistically add into your life style and you’ll be on your way to fitness success, a healthier body and a happier mind.
To get exercise to impact your health in the most beneficial way it is best to sweat for a consecutive thirty minutes for a minimum of four times per week. It is ideal to get at least three cardio workouts and two strength training workouts – so yes that is five workouts with the opportunity to sweat – so do “your” best for your maximum results. Try to not go more than two days without exercise.
Understanding that you can begin by using your own body weight in your weight bearing exercises leaves no excuse for the average, moderately healthy individual, to not begin an exercise regime. Cardio conditioning can begin with a brisk walk and increase to a jog over time; make it as easy and pleasurable as you’d like, or as challenging as you like; monitoring how you feel is important – the goal is to just move! This gets your heart pumping, your blood moving, your oxygen flowing, and your cells’ mitochondria production increasing; which has a huge impact on your energy and your over-all health.
It won’t take long to feel the beneficial, positive results from sticking to an active fitness regime! Besides feeling happier with the Universe you’ll also be reducing your stress levels. Ahhhhh – doesn’t that sound lovely? This occurs from the release of dopamine molecules from neurons which allows the neurons in your brain to communicate with each other more effectively. They seem to counteract stress and depression by acting on the limbic system in the brain; this can also be why people can become addicted to exercise. Interestingly, most negative addictions are thought to occur by dopamine’s release from the negative addiction into the reward center of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. This mood altering chemical release into our reward center can also act as an aid in making healthier food choices and with appetite control. HA!
Other benefits of exercise include lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. These are the lipoproteins that are linked with heart disease. This occurs from a lower weight and also from enzymatic stimulation to release and move LDL from the blood, into the liver for breakdown and excretion. Exercise also appears to increase the size of these lipoproteins making it more difficult for them to settle into the linings of the heart and blood vessels. According to a study in 2002 by researchers at Duke University Medical Center higher intensity exercise was more effective at lowering LDL and at increasing the good cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Exercise can also improve allergies by the dilation of vessels and the increase in blood flow. It can also help with back pain by strengthening your core area as well decrease knee pain and chances of injury by increasing the strength of surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Overall, exercise is the single most beneficial activity that we can add to our lifestyle for optimal health. Start by finding an active hobby, a brisk walk, a few sit-ups, push-ups, squats or anything to your life – anything that will help you to make a conscious decision to move. Maybe you can give yoga, Tai Chi or even dance classes! Don’t worry about where you’re starting from; focus on where you’ll end up; ‘hint’ – a happier and healthier place: physically, mentally, and spiritually.!… You’ll reduce your chances of incurring an expensive and possible life threatening illness as well as boost your quality of life in an intangible and positive way.
Guest Author: Shari Oglesby has been excited to be a student of SWIHA Online since June of 2011, taking the AOS Degree in Holistic Healthcare.Before beginning this exciting transformation she was a full-time mother and housewife with the occasional dip into working as an independent insurance agent in her home state of Florida. Her interest in Natural health spurred from witnessing the healthcare system while her son fought a bone infection for a full year and from watching her father’s health decline from Alzheimer’s. She also experienced her own misdiagnosis from a medical doctor and was appalled by the lack of concern and humanism that was given to her. She has had a lifetime hobby of exercising and has recently began riding her mountain bike again; this coupled with a whole foods diet has given her a new zest achieving her goals of becoming a healer through the use of the many modalities that she is learning through the great community of SWIHA. “Do those things that add health to your life without giving up another.” Affirmations like this help her to keep her physical, mental and spiritual life in balance, which is enabling her to live life to the fullest.