Every magazine I pick up seems to remind that wellness and health greatly depends on a person remaining physically fit. And to stay physically fit requires, aak, exercise.
There seems to be enough studies done to prove that regular exercise helps to keep your heart, lungs, muscles, joints and brain strong. Those are worthy goals in and of themselves. But recently I read that exercise is a mood-booster which helps in relieving mild to moderate anxiety or depression.
I have no idea if there is more mild depression among the people I know or see posting on my Facebook page than anywhere else, but someone mentioned depression can plague those with creative minds. Since that includes most who will read this blog, it says to me that we should make time for more exercise.
Now it seems to me that the type and amount of exercise a body does depends on a variety of things. Age and past life-style playing the primary consideration along with checking with your primary care doctor to see that all vital organs are in good enough shape to begin an exercise routine.
Something else I read is that the best fitness plan is one that combines aerobic activity with strength building and stretching. To get the most benefit a person should exercise for an hour about five times a week. That includes ten minutes of warm up, forty minutes of exercise and ten minutes to cool down.
I’ve found that for me, taking a morning walk is the easiest, and something I can more readily make time for. This past year I had to lay off walking for a while as I somehow hurt one knee and ankle, then learned I needed surgery to remove a tumor that ran under or around my sciatic nerve. Recovery took time and when I thought I could get back to walking my usual route it turned out not to be something I could jump right back into.
So now it’s plain to me that muscle loss can play havoc with a normal fitness plan. In any event it’s wise to start slowly and build. You know how some enthusiasts say “no pain, no gain”? My doctor said that isn’t true. If you detect pain, something is amiss.
Depending on your mobility you have choices. Maybe you walk or swim or cycle. But you could be someone who’d rather dance or use an elliptical machine. I recall a time my husband and I would buy whatever exercise machine we saw advertised. A rowing machine ended up under the bed. A treadmill and stepper machine both became places to hang clothes ready for laundry. Unused machines don’t help your health. And paying for a gym doesn’t do any good unless you go.
A fitness trainer on Dr. Oz once said it’s good to do pushups in your living room. Or if you spend time in the kitchen, raising and lowering a soup can in each hand ten times helps build muscle. Stretching when you first get up in the morning helps you be more flexible. That may improve your balance which might prevent a fall.
The upshot is that being physically fit lets you live longer, and to enjoy living longer means you want the best quality of life. So as much as I might try to avoid the dreaded term, “exercise”, I like my independence which means taking care of the body I’ve ended up with.
Notice I didn’t bring up the word, diet. That’s a whole other part of remaining physically fit. Anyone out there care to take on that lecture in the new year?