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Exercise

“What fits your busy schedule better – Exercising 30 minutes a day or being dead 24 hours a day?”

“Walking is a man’s best medicine”

– Hippocrates (Greek physician 460 BC – 377 BC)

This short video provides a visually entertaining encouragement to spend 30 minutes a day walking. It ends with the question:
Can you limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 ½ hours a day?

Health benefits of exercise

Improves sensitivity to INSULIN and LEPTIN hormones

This promotes normalization of blood sugars and helps weight loss. LEPTIN is the appetite suppressant / fat-burning hormone that says “STOP EATING”.

Improves your state of mind

In part by affecting your body’s levels of two chemicals:

CORTISOL ▼ Produced in response to stress, increases blood pressure and blood sugar, weakens your immune response and can lead to organ inflammation and damage. Working out burns CORTISOL restoring your body’s normal levels.

Endorphins ▲ Exercise can also cause your brain to release endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers.

Research supports exercise for depression

A study conducted by Duke University in the late 1990’s divided depressed patients into three treatment groups:

1) Exercise only

2) Exercise plus antidepressant

3) Antidepressant drug only

After six weeks, the drug-only group was doing slightly better than the other two groups. However, after 10 months of follow-up, it was the exercise-only group that had the highest remission and stay-well rate. Exercise needs to be sustained and produce sweat. [Babyak et al, 2000]

Resistance training program for elderly study improved strength, balance and depression.  8 weeks of progressive resistance training increased strength by 200% in 90 year old humans.10 weeks of training gave 300% increase in strength, improved balance, and relief from depression. 

Increases learning ability

Increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors that help make new brain cells.

Reverses negative effects of stress

Boosts levels of calming brain neurotransmitters, E.g. SEROTONIN, DOPAMINE, and NOREPINEPHRINE. Walking is especially good for helping you think better. It increases circulation to the brain. Compared to more strenuous exercises, walking doesn’t divert extra oxygen and glucose to muscles, and is especially good after a meal when your brain may be deprived of glucose.

High-intensity exercise has euphoric effect

Run/bike/swim as fast as you can for 30 – 40 seconds and then reduce your speed to a gentle pace for 5 minutes before sprinting again.

Improves self-esteem.

By improving your body image.

The body’s lymph system:

→Carries NUTRIENTS TO THE BODY

→ Carries TOXINS OUT OF THE BODY 

Unlike the blood, the lymphatic system has no automatic pumping system, and is only moved by muscle contraction. i.e. movement / exercising.

Increases learning ability

Increases the level of brain chemicals (called growth factors) that help make new brain cells.

Moves lymph fluid

The body’s lymph system:

→ Carries NUTRIENTS TO THE BODY

→ Carries TOXINS OUT OF THE BODY 

Unlike the blood, the lymphatic system has no automatic pumping system, and is only moved by muscle contraction. i.e. movement / exercising.

Suggestions for daily exercise

Traditional exercise

• 30 minute brisk walk or biking

• 20 minute rebounding 

• Chi Machine for people unable to walk. Lying down, machine moves your legs like a fish tail.

Exercise needs to be consistent + balanced with dietary antioxidants

CONSISTENT aerobic exercise stimulates blood flow and improves oxygenation, protecting against free radicals.  

However – EXCESSIVE irregular exercise can cause too much oxidation.  Especially if there are insufficient antioxidants present. 

Needed for optimal exercise

• Strength training

• Aerobic exercise

• Balance

• Stretching

Other physical therapies

Physical therapies unblock energy pathways
(called
meridians)
in the body.

E.g. Deep tissue
massage, rolfing, reflexology, exercise, chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure,
applied kinesiology, Reiki, Tai chi, yoga, spinal manipulation.

Acupuncture

In this treatment from traditional Chinese medicine,
acupuncturists insert thin needles into strategic, energy-balancing points on the
body. These acupuncture points have a dramatically reduced electrical resistance
compared with the surrounding skin (10 kilo ohms compared to 3 Mega ohms).Acupuncture
can prevent and treat nausea and vomiting and help relieve many types of pain, including
that from osteoarthritis, low back pain, neck pain, headaches and postsurgical pain.
Patients who receive acupuncture typically receive up to 12 treatments, usually
given once or twice a week.

German researchers tracked more than 3,000 patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis
and found that those receiving acupuncture experienced significantly more pain relief
than those who did not receive acupuncture treatments.

Acupressure

Along the meridians are a large number
of pressure points that act as “valves” for the flow of chi. The stimulation of
these points, when properly performed, acts to restore balance to the internal environment,
thereby relieving symptoms.

Acupressure

Deep Tissue Massage Therapy

A massage therapist manipulates the body’s soft tissue
(i.e. muscle, skin and tendons) using fingertips, hands and fists. Massage treats
anxiety and low back pain and improves postsurgical healing. Studies conducted at
the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute show that massage can help relieve
back pain and strengthen the immune system in women with breast cancer by increasing
levels of natural disease-fighting cells.

Spinal Manipulation

Practiced by chiropractors, osteopaths (medical doctors
whose training allows them to correct structural problems in the musculoskeletal
system) and physical therapists, this hands-on technique adjusts the spine to properly
align the vertebrae with muscles, joints and nerves. Spinal manipulation is an accepted
medical practice for low back pain, but the evidence supporting its use for other
medical problems has been somewhat conflicting.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, a study
of 681 patients with low back pain showed that chiropractic care was as effective
as medical care, including painkilling drugs, in relieving discomfort.

Tai chi

This gentle exercise, derived from Chinese martial arts,
consists of a series of defined postures and movements performed slowly and gracefully.
Medically, it is used to improve balance in older people who are prone to falls.

In a study of 278 elderly people at Vrije University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
those who performed tai chi three times a week for six months had 50% fewer falls
and fewer injury-causing falls.

Yoga

Specific stretching postures and breathing exercises, which originated in
India, help calm body and mind. Yoga is particularly effective for stress
relief, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, anxiety and
depression.

In a study conducted at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi,
98 people with heart disease or diabetes who practiced the postures and breathing
techniques of yoga had significant reductions in total cholesterol and blood sugar.

Posture Improvement Exercises

ExercisePurposeWhat you needWhat to do
Groin Stretch Stretches and aligns the groin muscles. Over time, it will align
your hips and allow your shoulders and back to return to a more anatomically
correct position.
A chair, coffee table or ottoman that is the right height so that
when you lie on the floor on your back, one leg can rest on top of the
object and form an approximate 90-degree angle.
Lie on your back, bend your left leg and place it on top of your
“platform.” Your left calf muscle should be resting on the platform.
Stretch your right leg straight out on the floor, toes pointed toward
the ceiling. Place your arms out to the sides, palms up. Rest in this
pose for five minutes, allowing gravity to do the work, relaxing the
body and letting the muscles stretch. Repeat with your right leg
Table Stretch Counteracts the tendency to hunch and roll shoulders forwardA table, desk, counter or back of a chairStand a few feet from the table, with feet hip-width apart and pointing
straight ahead. Lean forward and rest your hands, palms down, on the
table so that your legs and torso form a 90-degree angle. Relax. Let
your head fall forward between your shoulders, and let gravity do the
work. Hold for one to two minutes
Cats and Dogs Increases flexibility and movement in the pelvis and lower backA carpet, exercise mat or other comfortable floor surfaceGet on your hands and knees so that your back forms a small table.
Place your hands directly below your shoulders, fingers pointing forward.
Knees should be in line with your hips. Exhale and slowly arch your
back upward like a cat, pressing your chin toward your chest. Hold for
five seconds. Then arch in the opposite direction (the way dogs do when
they stretch), pulling your head and neck upward and your upper and
lower back downward and lifting your buttocks into the air. Hold for
five seconds. Smoothly transition from “cat” to “dog” for 10 complete
cycles
Face the Wall Stretches and aligns the muscles of the chest, shoulders and pelvisA wallStand facing the wall with feet hip-width apart, toes turned inward
and touching (pigeon-toed). Your chest and nose should almost touch
the wall. Lift your arms straight above your head, shoulder-width apart.
Place the backs of your hands on the wall. Hold for one minute, eventually
working up to three minutes. You will feel a stretch in your pelvis
and shoulders. At first you only may be able to reach the wall with
the sides of your hands. As your muscles align and stretch, you will
be able to work up to reaching the wall with the backs of your hands.
Helpful: This may be uncomfortable at first,
but after a minute your shoulders will begin to relax 

References

•  Babyak M, Blumenthal JA, Herman S, Khatri P, Doraiswamy M, Moore K, Craighead WE, Baldewicz TT, Krishnan KR. Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months. Psychosom Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;62(5):633-8. PubMed

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"What fits your busy schedule better - Exercising 30 minutes a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"...