Health and Happiness Why Move? Part II
Last month we discussed the need for our generation to get moving again. Regular exercise drastically reduces the incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and others. It results in less depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s Disease and chronic fatigue. Now some extra benefits will be shared.
It increases energy, muscle strength and endurance—even for shopping and household chores. Moving our bodies delivers nutrients and oxygen to all areas, particularly the heart and lungs. They in turn are strengthened to equip the extremities for climbing stairs, playing with grand children and the brain is better supplied to offer better balance, thus less falls. Exercise also promotes better sleep. There is less struggling to fall asleep and less likelihood of awakening during sleep. This deeper sleep allows us to awaken more refreshed and with a better mood.
And all of this can be fun. “Fun?” you say. How can the “work” of exercise be fun?” Well, it gives us the chance to unwind. Many exercises are pleasurable—walking, cycling, swimming, tennis and golf, for example. Time spent outdoors in nature “recreates” us as we move around the track or swim in the pool. Exercise gives us time to connect with family and friends. It can be done at any age and in various social settings like the Boswell or Creston hiking clubs. And if ever bored—we can try a new activity— there are lots of choices. But the greatest choice is to either not do it and risk chronic illnesses versus choosing to do it and thus look forward to immediate and future wellness. Choose wisely!
Guidelines are: 30-45 minutes per day five days a week. Intensity should be to the point where you just begin to huff and puff. If you wish to be more specific, it should be at a heart rate of 0.7 x (220-your age). Or you can use a pedometer and aim for 5,000 to 10,000 steps per day. Just finished my 10,000 a few minutes before I wrote this (a few days prior to my surgery). It is best if done with others—for fun and accountability. But be sure to check with your MD first if you are over 40 and have an EKG as well. This is especially true if you have a history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, fainting spells or any chronic health problems. Be sure to have adequate hydration (8 oz of water every 20 minutes), weather- appropriate clothing, comfortable
shoes and a safe area in which to “move with fun.”
See you on the road or in the water!
by Sid Kettner MD
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