(Adapted from Dr. Haas’ upcoming book, Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine)
We are designed to move, lift, swing and stretch.
Exercise, in its varied forms, stimulates metabolism,
circulation, oxygenation, lymphatic activity, and
neurological function; strengthens our immune system;
reduces stress; lessens inflammation, and with endorphin
enhancement, exercise improves our overall attitude. A
consistent program of balanced exercise supports the body and
helps prevent or improve so many health issues. Depression is
one example where regular exercise often helps, by improving
mood and energy, reducing anxiety and promoting better sleep.
A Balanced Fitness Program Includes:
- Some exercise daily — with a goal of 7–10 hours of physical activity each week
- Stretching — for flexibility, also good before and after aerobics and/or weights
- Aerobic activity — running, hiking, biking, or swimming, for endurance, cardiovascular health and detoxification (sweating)
- Toning — using weights or resistance exercises, for strength and muscle mass
- Energy balancing — yoga, qigong, and Tai Chi (especially helpful for elders)
- Mood enhancing — dance and all aerobics support the feel good “endorphins”
Even with physical limitations, do what you can, from isometrics
to using a stretch band, or even stretching or yoga in a chair. You
can also do deep breathing along with tightening and relaxing
muscles while sitting or working at your computer. Remember,
if you aren’t already exercising regularly, have a physical exam
before you begin and build your endurance at a healthy pace.
My attitude is (and it could be yours, too): “This is the only
body I have and I am going to treat it with love.” Once we
develop this approach, giving our body some vitamin L (Love),
we develop an internal commitment to being healthy. With this
essential feeling of body respect and love, we will often tend to
eat better, exercise more regularly, learn to manage stress more
effectively and take better overall care of ourselves.
The Best Exercise Program
Evaluate Your Exercise Program
“Do you know what your best exercise is?” Many will answer,
“walking” or “swimming.” The BEST exercise program is “the
one that you’ll do.” I find when people are given suggestions
that are beyond their ability to enact, they won’t do anything. Of course, there are many aspects in regard to healthy exercise to support the body and avoid injury. We could also say this about
dietary changes and the individuality of what we choose to eat.
- Do you enjoy exercise?
- Which activities do you like most?
- Do you exercise daily? If not, how often?
- How many hours of exercise do you average weekly?
- Do you dislike exercise and find it hard to pick something that motivates you?
- Do you stretch daily?
- Do you run or engage in other active aerobic activity?
- Do you lift weights or do other strength and muscle development activities?
- Do you like to go to a gym, or do you prefer to be on your own?
- Do you like team activities?
- Have you been accused of being an exercise fanatic or exercising too much?
- Have you injured yourself from any of your exercise activities?
- Do you sense that exercise is helpful for your long-term health?
- What can you do to improve or enhance your overall fitness program?
The benefits of staying fit can last a lifetime. It’s part of my
Healthy Aging program. The difference in how we feel from
staying fit has to do with our life attitude and vitality. So much
of our health is up to each of us. How we live matters and we
are totally worth it!