Well, we are moving right along (pun intended) with the next series of Magnificent Seven highlights. We will be focusing on moving your body. Movement is life. We rely on movement of blood, oxygen, and fluids on a micro-level and we also rely on movement of our muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue on a macro-level. If we don’t use it, we will definitely lose it. Unfortunately, cardiovascular health, heart rate variability, muscle strength and muscle endurance are all lost at a much faster pace than they are gained. That simply means it takes more work to rebuild and just a few days of inactivity and immobility to have measurable decline. Discouraging? It doesn’t have to be.
The best exercise is the one that you will do. There is, however, a significant difference between “physical activity” and “exercise”. Many people feel they don’t need to exercise because they have a “physically demanding” job. Exercise requires pushing to a limit, reaching that goal and setting a new limit. Physical activity may be the same thing day after day.
The good news is that it is never too late to do something good for your health with exercise. Studies done at Tufts University have shown that people in their 80’s and 90’s can gain benefits from exercise similar to those seen in young men and women. Age is not the issue. The health benefits of exercise have been exhaustively covered. Exercise is better than antidepressants for depression. Exercise lowers your cholesterol level. Moving your body increases your energy and vitality. Daily exercise improves the quality of your sleep…again, better than prescription medications. Exercise is a great way to burn off stress and you can elevate your mood with exercise.
You don’t need a lot to get started. You can do most basic exercises from the comfort of your home. Here’s a brief list of things to consider getting to improve your daily exercise program.
- good pair of shoes
- stopwatch or timer
- Theraband exercise band or tubing
- foam roller
- medicine ball and/or kettle bell
If you aren’t used to exercise be sure to start slow and gradually increase. You want to make sure you “move smart” to prevent injury. If you have a heart condition, or any other illness, you should visit with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Consider answering the questions on this Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire.