Friday, December 17, 2010

Physical Exercise - One of the Four Legs of the Chair of Health

I have previously written of the four legged chair of health. Obviously if any of the legs are shorter than the others, this chair becomes unbalanced. It can be come unbalanced to the point where the chair falls over.

I advocate taking a high quality nutritional supplements to give your body the required nutrients it needs in order to have a healthy immune system and I further advocate taking optimizers for any problem areas, such as Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids for chronic joint pain.

I also advocate doing your best to stay away from toxins – cigarettes are probably high on the list. Excessive drinking, unhealthy fast foods and exposure to chemicals are also important to avoid.

Several people have contacted me and asked what they should do for physical exercise. First thing would be to consult with a medical professional to ensure you are in decent enough health to begin an exercise program. But don’t let the word “exercise program” scare you away. You can easily build physical exercise into the nooks and crannies of your life and reap those benefits.

The main areas of physical exercise you should consider are:

Aerobic exercise. Participate in moderate intensity aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes several times a week. This type of exercise could be simply walking at a fast pace, say 3.5 to 5 mph. An excellent route would be one that includes a couple sets of stairs of an uphill incline but does not have a downhill incline – downhill adds stress to knees.

Resistance (Strength) training. Perform weight lifting or body weight resistance exercises to increase muscular tone, strength and endurance twice a week. Body weight exercises such as pushups, situps, crunchs, and dips on a chair are a great start. A light weight set of dumbbells can be used to for shoulder presses, biceps curls, arm raises, triceps extensions are also a very good addition. Shoot for a minimum of 12 reps per set. Build to a three or four sets per sessions. You can certainly get great benefit from two 20 minute sessions a week.

Flexibility. Top reduce risk from injury, warm up before any exercise. You should include stretching before and after the exercise. The time to build on your flexibility – meaning pushing yourself for increased flexibility – is after the workout when your muscles are completely warmed up.

Flexibility also aids in balance and can help elderly people avoid those falls that sometimes result in debilitating injuries.

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