It Really is the Magic Bullet…

I’ll come right out and say it: this is another post telling bad credit home loans with cosigner you to exercise. I know, you’ve heard it all already, but I’m going to tell you again. You need to be exercising. As in moving. As in not sitting.

Here’s something you may not know. Low fitness and a sedentary lifestyle is the number one predictor for chronic disease and early death. I’ll repeat that. Being unfit and sitting all day is the number one way to get sick and die young. Dr. Steven N. Blair, director of research for the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, has done extensive research on the effects of exercise. His studies have shown that regardless of other negative health circumstances (e.g. obesity or smoking), a sedentary lifestyle is still the surest way to an early death. In fact, smokers and obese people who exercise increase their life expectancy even if they keep smoking and stay obese (though I don’t recommend either of those…).

That’s some pretty fantastic motivation right there.

However, if that’s not enough to sell you, consider the following. Regular exercise:

  • Increases youthful appearance by protecting against excess cell degeneration.
  • Controls weight.
  • Gives emotional resilience by balancing our neurotransmitters.
  • Works as an antidepressant.
  • Protects against anxiety.
  • Decreases the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.
  • Decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Decreases menopausal symptoms.
  • Decreases bone loss in post-menopausal women.
  • Decreases PMS symptoms and helps regulate hormones.
  • Increases proper immune function.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Protects against insomnia.

If a pharmaceutical company came out with a new drug that claimed all of the above, we would all scream foul and label it snake oil. But this is the real deal, folks. Our bodies evolved to move and move frequently, and without that consistent movement, we fall apart.

So how much exercise are we borrowing money on vacant land talking about here? Amazingly, not that much. Research has shown that previously sedentary people who increase their activity a mere one hour a week increase their life expectancy. What I see as a practitioner is that we tend to get too black and white in our thinking about what exercise means. That if we can’t get to the gym for an hour every day, then we might as well not try. It’s important to be creative and find ways to be more active throughout the day. It’s important to keep consistent, keep it balanced and keep it affordable.  Here are some tips and ideas for ways to increase fitness into a busy, hectic schedule:

  • Split it up. Three ten minute walks a day has been shown to have the same effect as one 30 minute walk.
  • Add small amounts of movement throughout the day. Take the stairs for one, or two, or ten flights. Park a block away. Rollerskate while you do your house chores. Have a dance party with your kids for ten minutes.
  • Make yourself accountable. Having a work out buddy has been shown to make people be more consistent with their workouts. No one wants to be seen as a slacker!
  • Use videos. There are thousands of work out videos available online, or to buy, ranging from 10 minute yoga routines to two hour high intensity work outs. There are now even subscriptions available (like Barre 3, here in the U.S.) where you pay a small monthly fee to have classes available online that you can do from home.
  • Join a sport. I know many of us did not have positive sports experiences growing up, but that’s no reason to not try it now. There are all sorts of fun adult leagues available now including soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and kickball.  borrowing money letter agreement Plus you get the added benefit of social connection!
  • Take a class. Learn something new and stretch your limits. Try tae kwon do, or rock climbing. Don’t like it? Try something else.
  • Remember it doesn’t have to be intense. Yoga and tai chi are fantastic strength builders and can be a great cardio work out, and have the extra benefit of meditation built in.
  • Look at how much you are sitting during the day. Set a timer and make sure you are standing up every 30 minutes for at least a couple minutes. Even better, use a standing work station (which will protect your neck and back also).

Lastly, remember that there are two types of happiness: instant gratification, and the happiness that comes from working hard and reaching a goal. Exercise doesn’t always have to be fun. You don’t (and won’t) always want to do it. But if you remember the long-term benefits of exercise, you can push yourself to do it. We’re not talking your whole day here. As Dr. Michael Evans has pointed out, all that’s needed is for you to give up thirty minutes a day…you can sit and sleep the other 23 and a half hours. Are you willing to give up half an hour of sitting in order to live longer?

As a personal example, part of my exercise routine is to wake up twice a week at 5 AM and go run with my neighbor. I can promise you two things: I have never once woken up at 5 AM and been happy to go run, and I always feel amazing after I’ve done it. Check out the attached clips and see for yourself (pardon the bed head…it was 5AM). And then get to it!

You Don’t Have to Like it…It Gets Better!And the Wrap Up!

 

 

 

Dr. Juniper

About Dr. Juniper

Dr. Juniper Martin is a board certified Naturopathic Physician practicing in Portland, Oregon. She uses an integrated approach, combining her study of complementary treatments such as herbal medicine, supplements and nutrition with her training in western diagnostics, pharmacology, and laboratory interpretation. While running her busy practice keeps her quite engaged, running after her three kids and trying to soak up the amazing gift of life rounds out her time rather nicely.
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6 Responses to It Really is the Magic Bullet…

  1. Gibran says:

    How do I know what type of exercise I should do?

    • Dr. Juniper Dr. Juniper says:

      Good question, Gibran. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest question to answer. Of course, before starting any new exercise regimen it’s important to check in with your health care provider, especially if you have a known condition which could be aggravated by some exercises.
      A few tips for finding exercise and activity that is right for you:
      -Make a list of things you enjoy doing that include moving. Do you like dancing? Any sports? Bird watching? Rock climbing? Hiking? Walking the dog? Roller skating? House hold chores? Think of ways you can incorporate more of that list into your schedule. People stick to exercise they *enjoy* and that gives them some positive feedback.
      -Does it make your body feel good? Listen to your body…avoid injury! It’s good to feel some burn, but realize, especially as we grow older and are perhaps deconditioned, that injuries happen when we push too hard. I advise people to start ridiculously slow and build up. For example 5 each of push-ups, crunches and (proper) squats. When you start small and succeed, it builds your strength without injury and gives you a positive feeling because you’ve succeeded…as opposed to setting an impossible goal from the get-go which is too challenging to keep. Personal trainers can be very helpful here!
      -Be creative. Wear ankle and wrist weights while you vacuum. Do leg lifts with your toddler or baby. Make it a habit to go for a walk after dinner with the whole family. Again, things that fit into *your* life are going to be the activities that are right for you.
      -Remember that there is not one type of exercise for each person. Being fit means being active. Being active in a truly healthy way means being consistent and balanced in the way that is appropriate for your age and health.

      Hope this helps :)

      • Laura says:

        It is all in the emphasis and how you are brnheaitg. Anxiety is about anticipation of something in the future. There are thoughts behind the anxiety the will clear up if you stay in the moment, not worring about future events so much. Also, check out our website at FourGates and see the title Loving-Kindness Meditations. This clears the anxiety based thinking causing the discomfort. Where there is an effect there is a cause, treat the cause and it will clear up.

  2. Mohammed says:

    Something I’ve been noticing is that when I try these sort of mntdiatioes, with every breath, I experience high levels of anxiety. I was wondering if this is normal, and what you (or anybody reading this) would suggest to try and work with this. If it helps, it feels like tightness and a searing hotness and acidic feeling in the chest. It really sucks, and I want to be able to surpass this.Heck, even after I took a break with it, after doing this it’s still evident.

  3. suplemen says:

    Thank you for any other great post. The place else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

  4. Richard says:

    Nice post and really intelligent thought.
    I appreciate your post ….
    Thanking you

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