==== ====Heres Some Info To Help You Get Started.www.fristwave.com==== ====UPI just published a poll that says that more than 80% of American adults have a regular exerciseregimen. If true, that would be very exciting. Then again, it could also be viewed as a major blackeye for exercise since it would seem that all this activity is having little impact on overall health inthe United States. The truth of the matter, though, is that exercise is vital to health and hasenormous impact. The poll, on the other hand, is probably much less than it seems.First of all, polls themselves are suspect since people often idealize their answers -- tellingpollsters what they wish they were doing, rather than what they are actually doing. Then too, oncloser inspection, the numbers tell a slightly different story than the headlines would suggest. Thepoll found that 16% of respondents copped to the fact that they never exercised at all, and 19%said that their regimen consisted of exercising once a week. Quite simply, once a week does notqualify as a regular regimen despite the claims of the pollsters. That means that approximately35% of Americans are not participating in any form of regular exercise -- about the samepercentage considered clinically obese. Hmm!And still another 27% said that they exercised less than 30 minutes at a time. Now if you considerthe next group in the poll, the 29% who exercise only 2-3 times per week, you realize that many ofthem are really only exercising for a total of 60-90 minutes a week -- the barest minimum of aroutine. Throw those people into the mix, and youre now looking at a total of about 60% -- aboutthe same percentage that qualifies as overweight in the United States. When all is said and done,you can see a direct correlation between lack of sufficient exercise and excess weight, but theimportance of exercise goes far beyond obesity. Exercise impacts almost every aspect of health. Itcan:- Reduce the risk of premature death- Reduce the risk of heart disease- Reduce high blood pressure- Reduce high cholesterol- Reduce the risks of many cancers, including colon and breast cancer- Reduce the risk of developing diabetes- Reduce fat and optimize body weight- Build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints
- Reduce depression and anxiety- Enhance performance in work and sportIts not my purpose in this newsletter to teach you how to exercise -- there are many books, DVDs,and websites that teach you how to do that -- but rather, to explain to you why you need toexercise and why you need to commit to multiple forms of exercise. Believe it or not, running everyday, wont cut it. Going to the gym every day and working out with weights every day wont cut it.You need it all: cardio/aerobic exercise, strength training, weight-bearing exercise, stretching,breathing, and balance.Lets start by talking about cardio/aerobic exercise.CARDIO/AEROBIC EXERCISEBy definition, cardio/aerobic exercise is brisk physical activity that requires the heart and lungs towork harder to meet the bodys increased oxygen demand. Aerobic exercise promotes thecirculation of oxygen through the blood. The key part of the definition here is the word oxygen. Thedefining aspect of aerobic exercise is that it is of sufficient intensity to force the heart and lungs towork harder, and yet of low enough intensity to facilitate adequate oxygen transfer to the musclecells so that no buildup of lactic acid is observed. Another way of looking at aerobic exercise isthat it involves repetitive movement of large muscle groups (such as your arms, legs, and hips) --with all of the needed energy supplied by the oxygen you breathe. When youre aerobically fit,your body takes in and utilizes oxygen more efficiently -- to sustain the repetitive musclemovement. Benefits include:- Improved heart and lung function- Lower heart rate and blood pressure- Increased blood supply to muscles and improved ability to use oxygen- Increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol)- Decreased triglycerides- Reduced body fat and improved weight control- Improved glucose tolerance and reduced insulin resistance- Enhanced immune function, which means- Increased resistance to viral and bacterial infection- Increased resistance to cancer- Lowered blood sugar levels and reduced risk of diabetes
- Longer life expectancyThere is a world of aerobic exercise to choose from. Choose one or two that you enjoy and caneasily pursue. For example, dont choose swimming if you live in the desert and the nearest pool is60 miles away. Take your pick. Theres running, jogging, and fast walking. Biking (either road ormountain), and swimming are also good. If you belong to a gym or have home equipment, thereare treadmills, elliptical trainers, spin cycles, and rebounders -- with more being invented andmarketed all the time. Just pick one or two that you like, can do easily, and are willing to do.STRENGTH TRAININGStrength training involves the use of weights or some other form of resistance to build muscle andincrease strength. Its benefits include:- Increased muscle strength- Increased tendon and ligament strength- Reduced body fat and increased muscle mass- Better balance- Lower blood cholesterol- Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivityContrary to popular opinion, strength training is not just for young people. Studies have shown thatpeople in their 70s and 80s can experience strength gains of as much as 180% in just a fewweeks!What kinds of strength training options are available? Again, as with aerobics, there is a world ofchoices. There are free weights, stacked weight machines, and Nautilus circuits at the gym.Theres resistance training as found in Soloflex and Bowflex machines and push/pull resistance asfound in the Delta Trimax machine. Then theres Pilates equipment and the Total Gym that useyour own body weight as resistance. Any and all can work. Choose one that works for you andthat you can do easily and are willing to do regularly.Its worth noting that weight training is the ultimate way to burn calories fast. A pound of muscleburns up to nine times the calories of a pound of fat. In other words, strength training increasesyour resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn while sleeping or sitting. Thetrick is that muscle is active tissue. That is, it requires a lot of energy just to maintain itself. In fact,every pound of new muscle you add to your body will burn about 60 calories per day. Adding just10 pounds of muscle to your body, will burn off 62 pounds of fat over the next year -- even whileyou are sleeping! And it will continue to do so the next year...and the next.WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE
Weight bearing exercise is actually a subset of certain aerobic and strength training exercises. It isexercise in which you force your body to support weight (your own included) while exercising.Studies have shown that weight bearing exercise can help slow down the rate of bone loss andosteoporosis, and therefore reduce fractures. How does it do this? First, weight-bearing exercisedirectly stimulates bone formation. Then, it strengthens muscles that in turn pull and tug on bones.This pulling action actually causes the bones to become denser and stronger. Weight-bearingactivities at any age benefit bone health. Studies have shown that even people in their 90s canincrease bone mass with weight bearing exercise.The best weight bearing exercises are: weight-lifting, jogging, hiking with a back pack, stair-climbing, step aerobics, racquet sports, and other activities that require your muscles to workagainst gravity. Swimming and simple walking dont do the trick. One exceptionally useful form ofweight bearing exercise is rebounding. The act of rebounding makes use of g-forces, just likeastronauts training in a centrifuge. Rebounding can actually achieve momentary g-forces of 3.5,which means that the bones of a 150 lb person will momentarily have to bear 525 lbs of weight oneach bounce. Thats a lot of weight bearing.Note: the benefits of weight-bearing exercise are site-specific. This means that you strengthenonly the bones used directly in the exercise. In other words, its a good idea to participate in avariety of weight-bearing exercises. To maintain the bone-building benefits, the exercise needs tobe continued on a regular basis.STRETCHINGStretching is the step child of exercise, with more lip service paid to it than actual practice.Stretching though is crucial to good health. The usual benefits cited include:- Reduced muscle tension- Injury prevention- Increased range of movement in the joints- Enhanced muscular coordination- Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body- Increased energy levels (resulting from increased circulation)Think for a moment of the opposite of stretching -- tightness and restriction. By definition, you aretalking about constriction in muscles and soft tissue. Tightness and constriction mean reducedblood flow to that muscle and soft tissue, a reduced supply of nutrients to the area of tension, andreduced removal of metabolic waste from those areas. Areas that are tense and constricted, then,are breeding grounds for illness and organ dysfunction. Now tie in the whole concept of traditionalChinese medicine which says that all disease results from restrictions in the flow of energy in thebody and the resulting energy imbalances that creates, and you can see that stretching is not justan issue of feeling good; it is essential for maintaining optimum health.
What kinds of stretching are good? Yoga is probably the best stretching exercise there is, butPilates works well too. If nothing else, just do 5-10 minutes of simple stretching after your dailyexercise routine as part of your cool down time.Note: It is not by accident that at 59 years old, I can still do full splits.RESISTENCE BREATHINGProper breathing is a topic worthy of its own newsletter, but for now, lets just focus on theadvantages of resistance breathing. The concept is simple: putting a device in your mouth thatrestricts (in a controlled manner) your inhalations and exhalations, which forces your lungs to workharder. This, in turn, strengthens the muscles that makes your lungs work and increases theircapacity. There are a number of such devices widely available on the internet and in healthmagazines. They tend to run $20-40. The investment is well worth it since this type of exercise cansignificantly improve the strength of your respiratory muscles and increase your lung capacity.How much of a benefit are we talking about?Studies have shown that these devices can increase breathing endurance by close to 300%.Considering how fundamental oxygen is to health, its not hard to see the short and long-termhealth and performance advantages of doing so.BALANCEOne other key aspect of exercise is balance. Why? Because like all other physical abilities, itdiminishes with age unless we consciously exercise it. Is that a bad thing? Only if you fall downand break your hip or wrist. Heres a simple balance exercise you can do daily. It takes just acouple of minutes and will produce quick improvement.1. Stand while holding for support, with one hand, the back edge of a chair set beside you.2. Bend the leg nearest to the chair at the knee 90 degrees so that your knees are still togetherand the foot of the bent leg is projected out behind you.3. Get used to balancing on the one leg while holding the chair.4. Then turn to the other side and do the other leg.Once you can comfortably balance like this:5. Try taking your hand off the chair and balancing on the one leg without support from the chair.6. As you get more comfortable doing this, try to stop using your arms for balance and pull yourhands in, palms together in front of your chest, like in a Far East prayer position. This will force theact of balance to the muscles of one leg.Once you can comfortably balance like this:
7. Try closing your eyes and holding the pose for 30 seconds.If you really want to improve your balance, many yoga poses are specifically designed as balanceposes, utilizing arms, legs, hips -- the entire body, in fact. On a more modern note, theres a wholenew breed of vibrating-platform exercise-equipment that makes use of forcing you to balance whileworking out. The net effect is that because the balancing aspect forces you to use an entirelyseparate set of muscles in addition to your normal work out muscles, it dramatically acceleratesthe benefits of exercise.CONCLUSIONExercise is as important to good health as proper nutrition. Speaking of which, your need forproper nutrition is increased by exercise.You will need more quality protein to build the muscles you are exercising. I know soy and wheyare the "in vogue" supplements for body builders. I much prefer the combination of rice protein andyellow pea protein. It is virtually of the same quality and bioavailability as those other sources, buthas one huge advantage. It is hypoallergenic and extremely easy to digest.You also need quality carbohydrates, especially ultra-long-chain carbohydrates (ULCs) such aspre-sprouted barley. ULCs release energy over several hours and do not spike sugar levels.You also need high quality fats -- Omega-3s and 9s in particular.When you are exercising, you utilize more oxygen, which by definition produces more free radicalsso you will need more antioxidants to clear them. Look for a full spectrum antioxidant, rather thana single source wonder supplement.And you will want higher intake of minerals (particularly electrolytes) and water soluble vitamins(vitamin C, and all of the B vitamins) since you will be using them up and sweating them out at anaccelerated rate. As a side note, instead of drinking high-sugar sports beverages, you might wantto consider just adding liquid trace minerals to your water.The one area that you gain nutritionally is detoxing. Exercise is its own form of detoxing. Itremoves waste from the lymph. It stimulates peristalsis to remove waste from the colon. And itaccelerates the removal of waste through sweat and urine.Bottom line: If you dont move you die. Exercise fundamentally changes every system and functionin your body.Jon Barrons Baseline of Health Newsletter and the Barron Report are read by thousands ofdoctors, health experts, and nutrition consumers in over 100 countries.
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