The Best Exercise
Walking is the best exercise. It is easier on joints than jogging or running and actually uses more muscles than a good jog. Plan for daily exercise and stick to it and you will reap the benefits. It increases muscle tone, balance, and flexibility. It will also keep you mobile well into old age as well as deter osteoporosis. Walking increases your circulation, and we now know that even if you have arthritis, walking is beneficial. If you have severe pain, you may consider non-weight bearing exercise like aqua size in the pool. Your goal should be to exercise 30 to 60 minutes each and every day, and if you can exercise out in the fresh air, all the better. The benefits from daily exercise are numerous and well documented scientifically. Exercise is medicine! Get off your chair and get moving today!! (but be sensible and don’t overdo it at first, and check with your physician before starting any exercise program.)
In order to keep your muscles strong, you must stress them by resistance training. Dumbbell weights or resistance bands are great ways to strengthen your muscles. Resistance bands are great because they are easy to travel with. Take them on your next business trip and you won’t miss a workout wherever you are. Try to do resistance exercises at least 2 to 3 times per week.
Get Into the Light
One of the most important nutrients for your mind and body speeds toward you at 186,000 miles per second from more than 93 million miles away. This nutrient is called sunlight. Most people don’t think of sunlight as a nutrient, but it is. Sunlight is necessary for regulating proper hormone function, calcium absorption, bone health as well as a normal daily sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). In fact, if you don’t get enough sunlight in your daily ‘light diet,’ you can suffer deficiency symptoms, such as:
- seasonal depression (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- poor quality of sleep
- a loss in work performance (especially in night-shift workers)
- disrupted melatonin regulation
- depressed cortical brain activity
- depressed immune function
Unfortunately, the light to which most of us are exposed each day comes from manmade sources, such as fluorescent, sodium and incandescent lights that do not produce full-spectrum sunlight. Numerous studies have shown that these limited-spectrum artificial light sources can make students irritable in school, reduce production among factory workers and make office workers sluggish. In one study, researchers even found that calcium absorption dropped off in the elderly who spent their days indoors during the winter, while those who spent time under full-spectrum lighting had an increase in calcium absorption.
Getting enough full-spectrum light can give your mood a tremendous boost. Light can help reduce stress, help you feel happier and improve your ability to concentrate. To make sure that you are getting enough light in your diet, doctors recommend the following tips:
- Try to spend at least 15 minutes outside every day; even when it’s very cloudy. The full-spectrum daylight is still beneficial to your health.
- Begin using a light box during the fall and winter seasons, especially if you tend to get the winter blues.
- Stop wearing sunglasses as they create very unnatural light for your eyes. Sunglasses should only be worn when you need to protect your eyes from physical harm or very bright light.
If you are a smoker, you are sick of hearing this, but…. it is REALLY important that you stop smoking! Smoking throughout the day is akin to living inside a burning building. Smoking degrades the collagen of your skin, causing premature wrinkling, destroys the cells inside your lungs, promotes heart disease, cataracts and cancer because of the oxidizing radicals released into the blood stream. It can also contribute to back pain by dehydrating the spinal discs.
Bone is a living tissue dependent on the functions and support provided by the other body systems. When these systems are not able to perform normally, bone is unable to rebuild itself. The formation of bone is particularly influenced by physical exercise and hormonal activity, both of which are adversely affected by cigarette smoking.
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases the level of harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide. In addition, nicotine causes a constriction of the small blood vessels that feed your spinal discs, shutting down their nutrient supply. Over time, the loss of normal blood supply leads to your discs becoming dehydrated and they begin to degenerate.
Smoking is also known to cause an increase in estrogen loss in women who are peri-menopausal or postmenopausal, which can result in a loss of bone density and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
There is no question that it is difficult to quit smoking. Many people who have quit say that it was the hardest thing they have ever done. But it is not impossible. People do it all the time. If you currently smoke and want to quit, there are a number of effective medical programs that can help you. There are programs designed to help you stop smoking. Talk to our staff at the Better Living Centre to obtain more information.