Exercise. It’s something deep down we all know we need to do yet many of us find lots of reasons why we don’t have time to do it. Listen up! Exercise is every bit as important to the overall health of your body as eating the right food.
Why is exercise so important?
Exercise is an essential element of health and healing. If we step back and think about the evolution process that got us where we are in this day and age, we can’t escape the fact that we moved. We moved a lot! We had to wander around to find food similar to the way primates of today. Fast forward to present day. We are still in the same evolutionary pattern as 10,000+ years ago. We have not been in the modern times and acting in these behaviors long enough to adapt so our body does the best it can to maintain homeostasis.
Typically, a poor diet coupled with our largely sedentary lifestyles, the lymphatic system is effected in a negative way. Additionally, these behaviors lead to poor circulation and lack of tissue oxygenation results compromising the ability of our cells to produce energy, cleanse themselves, and heal. Moving enhances the health of every cell in your body. Exercise increases the rate of healing by up to 4 times, that’s 400%.
The Benefits of Exercise
Just to clarify before going any further, when speaking of exercise we are talking about moderate exercise. Extreme exercise, indicative of the American culture, is not healthy movement for the average couch potato or desk jockey. When striving for ultimate fitness the body must be supported and trained to withstand the intensity of stressful exercise. The wise words of our elders that moderation is the healthy way is truth and we need to heed these words.
Oxygenates and alkalizes
Detoxes and heals
Cleanses skin (sweating)
Oxygenates and Alkalizes
Many of the chronic illnesses we face today are associated with compromised oxygenation. Improved circulation during and after regular exercise increases blood flow throughout our body. This increases delivery of alkalizing oxygen and removal of acidic carbon dioxide from our cells helping maintain an optimal pH, which is a key aspect of health. Oxygen is the most important element for health and life. It is vital for sustainable energy production in all cells. Regular exercise is a simple and effective form of oxygen therapy.
Detoxes and Heals
Aerobic exercise helps our body cleanse itself both on a regular routine basis and as an element of any detox or healing program. An increase in blood flow delivers nutrients to all tissues and enhances waste removal from our cells. All cells benefit from the increase in nutrients which replenish, repair and restore. The cleansing that occurs helps all cells release toxins, re-establish health, and maintain homeostasis. Our lymphatic system is also stimulated by aerobic exercise. It is a vital means of waste removal from our cells but relies on rhythmic muscle contractions to stimulate its flow. There is no match for aerobic exercise in this.
Our lymphatic system is also an important element of our immunity. Immune cells, known as lymphocytes, are transported around our body via its network of tiny vessels. Steady rhythmic exercise or even gentle bouncing movements help the migration of these cells to tissues where needed.
The increased oxygen and nutrient delivery, cleansing, immune boosting and fat burning effects of aerobic exercise all help improve our energy levels. The value of aerobic exercise, in helping our body nourish and maintain itself, presents as greater physical energy and improved mental clarity. WIth an increased metabolism comes an increased use of stored fat as an energy source. Fat offers 3 times the energy as carbohydrates!
Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are “feel good” hormones in our brain, that affect our mood. Their release is associated with happiness and a sense of achievement that comes with a good workout. With our body already slimmer, cleaner, and better nourished these endorphins add another element to the benefits of aerobic exercise.
Cleanses Skin Through Sweating
Aerobic exercise is the best way of lifting our core body temperature. This stimulates sweating, which is an important means of temperature control, an air conditioning unit if you will. Sweating cleanses our skin flushing blockages and acid wastes from our pores. Regular aerobic workouts noticeably improve the health and appearance of our skin.
All exercise enhances fat burning and is an indispensable aspect of any weight loss program. Our body can only store 1 hour of carbohydrate energy. When we do either high or low intensity exercise longer than 1 hour, our body switches over to using fat. We can actually train our body to use the fat as its fuel of choice. Long and steady aerobic exercise directly burns fat from our hips, bum, thighs or any body parts with excessive fat stored.
So what exercise is the best then?
There are many types of exercises one can do. There are many combinations of exercises that can be done. The following are general types of exercise that you can work with to determine what routine benefits you the best with the least stress and strain on your body.
Resistance training or weight lifting
Brain/Body Agility training
Bounce to Heal – Rebounding
Purchase a high quality rebounder versus a “mini-trampoline” which is of cheaper quality and cause low back damage. Gentle bouncing and movement contracts our muscles to stimulate lymphatic flow. The pumping movements push lymphatic fluid back to their drainage ducts and enhances waste removal from the body. Unlike the circulatory system, which has the heart to pump it, the lymphatic system needs the diaphragm to contract to pump the lymph effectively and efficiently.
Enhance Flexibility – Stretching
Stretching is a passive exercise that can be done in the form of isometric, calisthenics stretching, or yoga. The importance of flexibility and concept of stretching is a much misunderstood and undervalued aspect of fitness. Improved flexibility can reduce pain and improves range of movement providing greater mobility and improved quality of life.
Aerobic Exercise – Cardiovascular
Cardiovascular training or aerobic exercise can include any of the following in any combination; walking, swimming, cycling, step-aerobics, plyometrics, and rebounding. Find an intensity you can maintain for 30 to 40 minutes. If this is too much you can build up in 5 minute blocks gradually reducing the rest time between each. Work up to 3 days a week for 30 to 40 minutes. On the other days work up to 20 minutes.
Weight Training – Resistance Training
Weight lifting or resistance training is simply using additional strain against the muscles which will increase the tone and strength of the muscles. Using resistance bands, free weights, machines or better still, your body weight; everyone benefits from weight training. As your strength improves you can upgrade the intensity by either increasing the weight, increasing the number of repetitions you do in one go, or increasing the amount of sets you perform.
Agility for Body and Mind
Movements that challenge coordination challenge the connection between brain and muscles. Some examples to try would be bouncing on a rebounder and touch the right hand on the left knee then left hand to right knee. You can do this while marching on the floor as well. Also, walking a painted line or the edge of a curb or jumping from side to side over a towel, beam, broom handle, or log. These seemingly unchallenging exercises are great for developing balance and agility, helping our body adapt to new situations. This all happens via the brain activity. This kind of exercise stimulates the body improving mental function overall.
Exercise- Creating Your Persona – Dr Brian Clement
Body Mind Mastery – Dan Millman
The Natural Goodness Program – Dr. Nick Good