EXERCISE FOR HEALING

Exercise for healing is by far the most important benefit of any fitness activity. Most of us join a fitness program to lose weight or reshape our bodies. I’ve never lost weight through exercise and judging by what I see in the change room neither do a lot of other woman. We can beat ourselves up until the cows come home but we’re never going to lose those bulging hips or that overly generous bum. The real reason we should get, and stay active as we age, is the power of exercise for healing. Exercise may help us lose weight but this is actually the least of its benefits.

The true benefits of exercise are significantly more important to our health and wellness than losing a few pounds. The results of exercising for healing are subtle and we may not see the benefits right away. Doctors recognize the importance of exercise not only for the body but the mind as well. Exercise is a component of rehabilitation for a number of serious health issues. There can be no question that exercise does more over-all good for our health and well-being than any pill or procedure could.https://susanneeden.com/exercise-with-nothing-to-lose/

Healing Through Exercise

Research shows that exercise reduces the markers in the blood that indicate inflammation. Since inflammation is the major cause of my debilitating skeletal muscular pain, this is a powerful motivator for me. Anything that will help me get rid of the inflammation the invades my body is welcome.

For those with cardio vascular problems, rehabilitation always includes a component of exercise. This is not simply to make you suffer for over-indulging in food and drink. Exercise plays a positive role in restoring cardio health. It also helps regulate the endocrine system. By controlling the hormones that regulate blood sugar, exercise helps prevent the onset of diabetes. For those like me who already have developed type two diabetes, exercise reduces the amount of insulin needed to maintain a healthy A1C reading. One of the more discouraging side-effects of too much insulin is weight gain on the torso. By reducing the amount of insulin, we have less belly fat to contend with. While diet certainly is critical to managing diabetes, exercise for healing is of equal importance.

There is promising new research on the positive effects of exercise on hormonal-related diseases like breast and colon cancers. These studies, along with ones that show that exercise boosts immunity, offer alternatives to invasive medications and treatments for cancer patients.

Exercise and Mental Health

Other studies have looked at the positive role exercise has in supporting mental as well as spiritual health. We know that what has a positive effect on the body also has positive effects on the mind. Studies of exercise and immunity, find that even moderate exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. This reduces the symptoms of depression and alters our mood. By increases the production the feel-good hormones of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, exercise acts as a natural anti-depressant. https://susanneeden.com/when-life-gets-in-the-way/

There is no aspect of aging that cannot be improved by exercise. As a means of strengthening bone and muscle, exercise counteracts the effects of osteoporosis and fractures. Exercise greatly improves balance and movement, two issues that plague seniors. Those who exercise regularly have sharper mental acuity reducing the effects of dementia. If exercise were put into a pill it would be the wonder drug of the century. https://susanneeden.com/aquafitness-exercise-for-life/

Walking for Health

Walking is perhaps the most underrated of all exercise for healing. As a low-impact activity, walking is particularly suited for seniors. It offers a full-body workout with critical benefits for over-all health and wellness no matter what your fitness level. You don’t have to pay for going for a walk and you control the amount and intensity of the your exercise. There is no right or wrong way to do it. There is no intimidation from the fit person beside you in the gym class who is leaping up and down with ease and enjoyment while you struggle to get one foot off the ground. When you walk, you are in charge of the exercise program.

Interval Walking

Interval Walking is a good choice for those who are able to do a more robust workout. It involves walking at a normal pace interspersed with quick bursts to ramp up your cardio and improve over-all conditioning. Some experts suggest five minutes of regular pace then five minutes of brisk pace. The pace is up to you. As a rule of thumb you should be somewhat winded after your brisk segment but be able to carry on a conversation. With practice you will increase your pace as well as your endurance. Always be aware of starting slowly to warm up before increasing into a more vigorous walk. The same holds true as you cool down at the end.

Nordic Pole Walking

Nordic walking was designed by a group of sports’ medicine doctors and athletes in Finland in the late nineteen-nineties. It was intended to reduce strain on the knees, legs and lower back during exercise, as well as strengthen the upper body. Specially designed poles are developed to achieve these benefits. It is claimed that with the use of these special poles, more than fifty percent more muscles in the arms, chest, shoulders and back are used during walking. Experts caution against improvising with ski poles or regular walking sticks. These have a different purpose than the Nordic poles and can cause injury.

Walking in Place

For those with limited mobility and or space, there is always walking in place. Put on some music and begin to move. It is that simple. Some people walk in place while watching television. You just enjoy the show until the commercial comes on and then stand, and walk in place. You can add arm pumping and even bicep curls for added value. Believe it or not from this basic activity you can get twenty-four minutes of cardio during a one hour program!

Taking Action

There is no down-side to using walking as exercise for healing. Walk in a local park, around the block, or even in your backyard. Go at your own pace. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Just enjoy.

You will likely enjoy your walk more if you have a congenial partner. When I couldn’t find a walking group in my community that suited me, I started looking for someone to walk with me. Quite by chance I found a wonderful woman who has become a very good friend. We don’t walk as consistently as we would like because of my limitations at the moment, but the prospect of spending time with someone whose company you enjoy is a great motivator.

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The real reason we should get, and stay active as we age, is the power of exercise for healing.

Susanne Eden

3 Comments

  1. Janis A. on May 28, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    So informative! Lots of great advice. Looking forward to getting back to aquafit and of course our uplifting walks together.

  2. Barb Champion on May 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    I do pole walking twice a day and find it really helps with my balance when I’m just walking and working around!

  3. Anonymous on June 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    so true, all so true. leaving this comment as i’m walking. 😉
    Keep fit and stay healthy, Susanne.

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