Friday, May 21, 2010

Exercise has even MORE health benefits....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-21-2010

Last week, Prevention Magazine posted an article they titled,

“17 Ways Exercise Sends Health Soaring”

Why schedule several sessions of exercise that are doable for you into your week and be sure you do each session 95% of the time or more?

For starters, since recent studies found only 5% of Americans do this.

In my opinion, besides the competing pressures on their time, most of the other 95% neither know how incredibly much exercise actually will do for them or even close. They also don’t know how badly they will suffer from what being sedentary and NOT exercising will otherwise do TO them.

So I thought I’d summarize their 17 points in yesterday’s post.

But, I only had time to do the first 7. So here are the remaining 10.

8. “Slash Cold Risk 33% Build up your body's defenses”

“Moderate exercise doesn't just rev your metabolism--it boosts your immune system, too, helping your body fight off cold bugs and other germs. Women ages 50 to 75 who did 45 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week, had a third as many colds as those who did once-weekly stretching sessions, a University of Washington study found."

Sessions of briefer and more vigorous exercise also work. Regular exercise that you recover from moderately easily of any kind boosts your immune system.

But if you compete in athletics or sometimes train or work out that hard, you will often get LESS immunity. So, if you do either, also take a multivitamin and an additional 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. That will make the impact of that kind of physical effort lower your immune system less. The extra vitamin D3 recent research found is quite effective in boosting your immune system’s killer cells that do away with bad bacteria and viruses.

Taking an extra 1,000 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C and a good probiotic supplement have also resulted in getting colds less often.

9. “Improve Vision
Carrots are great, but exercise might be better

What's good for your heart is good for your eyes. An active lifestyle can cut your risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70%, according to a British Journal of Ophthalmology study of 4,000 adults. This incurable disease makes reading, driving, and seeing fine details difficult, and it's the most common cause of blindness after age 60.

Do this: Protect your eyes during all outdoor activities (if you're a walker, shoot for a mile a day). Be sure to wear UVA/UVB-blocking sunglasses all year long.“

Wearing a broad-brimmed hat can also help. So does eating blueberries and taking bilberry supplements

10. “Reach the Deep-Sleep Zone
Decent shut-eye is not a far off dream

Say good night to poor sleep. Women age 60 and older who walked or danced for at least an hour, four times a week, woke up half as often and slept an average 48 minutes more a night than sedentary women, according to a study in the journal Sleep Medicine. That is good news for the many women who toss and turn more as they get older. As you age, sleep patterns start shifting, so you spend more of the night in lighter sleep phases, says Shawn Youngstedt, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina.”

Regular exercise works wonders in making it easier to fall asleep and get decent sleep quality.

Since being too fat can cause sleep apnea that trashes restful sleep. If you have excess fat to lose, do be SURE to exercise regularly & also add several kinds of moderate and doable calorie restriction that you practice doing every week.

Don’t drink soft drinks at all; don’t eat things containing high fructose corn syrup or refined grain flour; cut back a good bit on regular sugar; and keep adding nonstarchy vegetables until you eat 3 or more servings a day.

11. “Never Get Diabetes
Walk to keep your blood sugar in check

Walking 2 miles 5 times a week may be more effective at preventing diabetes than running nearly twice as much, report Duke University researchers. Because fat is the primary fuel for moderate exercise, walking may better improve the body's ability to release insulin and control blood sugar.

Do this: Start a walking program” the Prevention article suggests.

Do it if you can find time for it. But much shorter sessions of strength training and/or interval cardio also work well. In one study even two one minute sets of interval cardio a day lowered blood sugar as measured by the very accurate HBA1C test.

12. “Eliminate Belly Bloat
Shrink the muffin top

The next time you feel puffy around the middle, resist the urge to stay put. A study from Spain's Autonomous University of Barcelona suggests that mild physical activity clears gas and alleviates bloating. That's because increasing your heart rate and breathing stimulates the natural contractions of the intestinal muscles, helping to prevent constipation and gas buildup by expediting digestion.

Do this: Walk or pedal lightly on a bike until you feel better. “

You can also get this effect with running or jumping rope or jumping on a minitrampoline.

Losing belly fat can be done also. But you need more exercise to do it. And, you need to do well on eating right with some calorie restriction for it to work at all.

13. “Clear Out Brain Fog
Build your mental muscle

Exercise is linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease among older people; now, new research shows it can prevent brain fog at a much younger age too. Japanese researchers assigned sedentary young adults to two groups; one took aerobic exercise classes, and the other did not. After 4 months, MRIs revealed that the nonexercising group experienced shrinkage of gray matter in some areas of the brain, while the active participants had no change.

Do this: Try a new fitness routine, or sign up for a new class at the gym. Besides the obvious benefit of getting a workout, trying something fresh can help stimulate the growth of brain cells.”

Virtually all exercises grow new brain cells. Strength training and interval cardio also release growth hormone to your whole body.

And, eating a heart protective diet such as the DASH II or Mediterranean diets plus taking certain supplements AND doing regular exercise sharply increase blood flow to your brain. It then tends to work a LOT better and be much more likely to keep working.

Taking both at least 2,000 iu of vitamin D3 and taking a curcumin or turmeric supplement every day and eating curried foods several times a week cuts your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease dramatically.

So does taking omega 3 supplements, particularly DHA.

14. “Save Your Heart
Reduce dangerous inflammation

Sedentary, obese women age 50 and older who began exercising lowered their levels of C-reactive protein-an inflammatory blood marker linked to heart disease-by 10% after 1 year, found research recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. “

See our other posts for the many other ways to lower inflammation.

15. “Add Years to Your Life
Stay healthy and active for years to come

Being physically fit can actually change how your body works. Vigorous exercisers have longer telomeres-cellular biomarkers that shorten as we age-compared with healthy adults who rarely work out.”

The end result has been tested recently and the research was published. Regular exercisers look younger and live longer than the very similar people who don’t do any regular exercise at all. And, the effect is quite large -- the exercisers lived more than 10 years longer on the average.

16. “Ease Your Ailments
Heal your body with yoga

Yoga has a well-earned reputation as a surefire stress reducer (particularly when combined with meditation), and new studies show the simple stretching regimen can also help treat and prevent a number of other ailments, from back pain to diabetes. Other research reveals regular yoga practice can put an end to mindless eating by creating an outlet for emotions that can lead to binging. Unfortunately, less than 15% of women over age 35 say they do yoga frequently, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. “

Tai Chi also works to lower stress and ease joint pain; it increases your ability to control your body and be physically coordinated; it burns more calories than yoga usually; and the injury rate for Tai Chi is MUCH less than for yoga. With yoga, it’s quite common to get injured from overdoing the stretches. Besides muscle and tendon injuries people injure their backs doing yoga.

Our recommendation is to either do Tai Chi instead OR be extremely careful and gentle ONLY if you do yoga stretches and positions.

17. “Survive Breast Cancer
Increase your defenses against the disease

Exercise not only reduces breast cancer risk, it can also save your life if you're diagnosed. Overweight women who were exercising more than 3 hours a week before they were diagnosed were 47% less likely to die than those who exercised less than a half hour per week.”

The Prevention article closed with this.:

“Do this: Sneak in mini bouts of exercise. Take a quick walk when you get the morning paper, hit the stairs before lunch, or knock out a few pushups and crunches while watching TV. Just two to three 10-minute workouts a day is enough to fill your quota for the week.”

If you do it regularly, even starting with three five minute sessions of exercise a WEEK will get you started and is WAY better than no exercise at all.

That’s particularly true if the sessions are vigorous strength training such as doing as many pushups as you can until you can’t do the next one and then doing 100 crunches or doing an interval cardio exercise such as several 30 second rounds of jumping rope. You do have to begin where you are and add more gradually. But you can literally start only able to do one or two push ups and build up to doing over 40 or 50. The same is true of crunches or jumping rope.

One woman who used Dr Sears’ advice began with ONE set of a 45 second walk! She gradually improved until she did enough more in each session to lose 45 pounds!

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