A Healthy You: Let’s Move!
by Cindy Gates
We all know that we should exercise more but many of us have difficulty accomplishing. First we need to think differently and think of it as “movement”. According to The Definite Guide to Thriving Cancer by Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn Gazelle, the benefits of movement are far reaching.
Several studies have shown that the strength of the immune system is directly influenced by physical activity. Many studies found that the direct cell-killing immune cells were actually transformed into a more powerful type of T-cell with physical activity. Regular exercise increase the activity of natural killer cells which are critical immune weapons and destroy cancer.
Regular exercise is associated with lowered levels of chronic inflammation. One study showed a 26 % reduction in C-reactive protein.
Exercise also increases our ability to cope with stress and helps prevent abnormal stress-induced cortisol secretions. Exercise can also help ease menopausal symptoms with improvements in psychological health and overall quality of life.
Exercise can actually reverse insulin resistance. Exercises reduced the fat content of muscles, improves the tone of skeletal muscles, and increased blood flow which all decreases insulin resistance.
Regular exercise improves all aspects of digestive function and particularly effective in relieving constipation. Exercise also stimulates liver detoxification. Regular exercise will decrease the activation of carcinogens, specifically by enhancing the most important detoxification system-cytochrome P 450. Exercise also increases the ability to remove activated carcinogens by increasing the activity that allows the body to safely excrete the toxins.
Some studies show that women who walked briskly at least 2 to 3 hours every week in the year before they were diagnosed were 31% less likely to die of the disease than women who were inactive before their diagnosis. This study also showed that women who increased their physical activity after their diagnosis had a 45 % lower risk of death when compared with women who were inactive before and after their diagnosis.
Every exercise program should include muscle strengthening , aerobic activity, stretching and flexibility, proper timing and optimal hydration. For every pound of muscle, it uses 6 calories a day to sustain itself where fat only uses about 2 calories a day. Building muscle also increases our metabolism. Aerobic activity should involve using large muscle groups and may include walking, swimming, and dancing. Stretching is so important to prevent injury and help relieve stress. Proper timing is about frequency and making exercise a habit. The best time to exercise is in the morning. Moving in the morning helps increase metabolism for the rest of the day and studies show that you are more likely to stick with it.
Optimal hydration is essential to life. The average body is 60% water. Even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism. Merely increasing your water intake helps you burn fat, Drinking water also prevent you from confusing hunger with thirst.
So get out there and move in the ways you enjoy. Any exercise is beneficial so start something-anything counts!