In a moment, we’re going to touch on some of the health benefits of exercise. But first, allow me to make a bit of an introduction.
A while back, I created a series of videos teaching the principles of healthy living. They are principles that, when taken together, serve to dramatically reduce the risk of chronic or degenerative disease developing in the person who applies the principles to his life. Which disease? Any and all of them, excepting those that are congenital and are going to get progressively worse no matter what. These are rare, however, so I’m not going to focus on them.
Here I must advise the reader to read my blog disclaimer. In addition, I must remind everyone that of course, results are not guaranteed.
Regardless, according to numerous studies and individual experiences, the principles that I teach in this video series have been shown to reduce the risk of all manner of disease. In addition, if a person already has a particular disease, applying the principles might help turn the situation around. That, again, is not guaranteed. But it never hurts to take measures to improve your health.
All that said, let’s move on to the first principle of disease prevention. My video on the topic follows.
Principle #1: Exercise.
The human body was designed to move. So get your body moving. There are many health benefits of exercise, such as
- increased blood circulation,
- endorphins (the “feel-good” hormones) released in the brain,
- increased energy,
- increased libido,
- stronger and better-toned muscles,
- improved digestion,
- enhanced function of the body’s cleansing process,
- alleviated constipation, and
- prevention of osteoporosis.
Too much of a good thing
While regular exercise is essential to excellent health, you can overdo it. And if you do, it might cause more problems than it solves. You might actually begin to undo some of the health benefits of exercise.
While your body is designed to move, it is not designed for constant motion, especially when that motion comes in the form of heavy exercise. If you hike for hours every day or religiously do some kind of aerobic exercise for an hour every morning, you cause your body stress. When your body gets stressed, two major situations occur. First, the blood begins to turn acidic, which is an open invitation to illness and disease. Second, the adrenals releases cortisol. When that happens, the body’s fat-burning mechanisms shut down and your sleep patterns are in danger of becoming disturbed.
Finding the middle ground
In order to reap the health benefits of exercise, you need to be moderate with it. What do I mean by “moderate”? It will vary from person to person, but generally three to five days a week, taking between fifteen and thirty minutes to do a workout, will suffice.
The most important exercise factor
Many times, people quit exercising for one reason, and one reason only: they don’t like it. Somebody told them they had to lift weights three times a week, and they hate it. Or that they have to go jogging for thirty minutes every day before work, and it provokes nasty flashbacks about junior high gym class.
Exercise encompasses any number of activities that sets the human body in motion. So choose activities that you enjoy. If you love to walk around the neighborhood park, do that. If running makes you feel free and gives you a high, then by all means, run. Bicycling, swimming, dancing, doing yoga or Pilates, even getting in a canoe or kayak are all great ways to get in shape.
You may not be able to engage in your favorite activity during every season of the year. That’s fine. Choose another activity or two to replace it. There are enough to choose from that you can probably find several that you, at the very least, don’t mind doing.
Keep in mind that you may choose certain types of exercise even though you don’t like them all that much. For example, back when we lived in the suburbs and I didn’t have automatic strength-training exercises built into my household chores, I would do strength training twice a week. I hate strength training. But, as I discuss in the video, prior to adding this activity to my exercise routine I had a weak core, which had led to serious lower back problems. Even today, twice a week I have to talk myself into doing fifteen minutes of resistance stretching exercises that are even better at keeping my core strong than are strength-training exercises.
Do what you enjoy, but do what you need to do to stay healthy, as well.
Whatever you do, get off your…couch and get moving. The health benefits of exercise are just waiting to fling themselves upon your active body!