Move it or lose it!
Move your body or lose:
Less than 10% of Americans get a reasonable amount of exercise. Even crummy nutrition takes less toll on your health and life than being a couch potato! Even minimal exercise increases beta-endorphins, the natural feel good chemical designed for well-being. My own studies showed significant increases in beta-endorphin with just 15 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of gentle yoga! If you want to feel good, you must move.
Exercise patterns in midlife predict later disability. Even low intensity exercise improves overall quality of life within a few months. Moderately disabled 85 year olds improve when they are begun on a gentle, progressive exercise program. Perhaps even more important is the fact that adequate physical exercise is a major deterrent for Alzheimer’s disease! In fact, virtually every known disease is LESS likely to develop if you are physically active. Proven benefits from exercise include reduced incidence of:
- Heart disease
- Heart disease
- Cancer of colon
- Cancer of the breast
- Cancer of the prostate
- And many more!
To me that is blissful news! To a great extent it does not matter how you move—just move! Here are some suggestions of ways to enhance well-being through movement, even if you have been a couch potato:
Start with walking at whatever pace you like for five minutes. Each day add 1 minute and in less than 2 months you are walking an hour. At that time you might measure the distance. Goal is to walk 4 miles in one hour, a minimum of 6 days each week.
Start with just standing and bending your knees as if walking. You don’t even need to lift your feet! Start with five minutes and add one minute each day. As you begin to improve in comfort and endurance, try just lifting your feet as if walking. Eventually you will enjoy gentle jogging. Goal:
120 steps per minute, 30 minutes six times a week
Take a few lessons and then build to one hour daily, 6 days a week
There are many other assistants to make exercise more fun, including:
- Exercise balls
- Exercise bicycles
- Physical trainers
- Health clubs, etc.
The bottom line:
MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!