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Modern life, including our work, is increasingly sedentary, and this simple fact makes exercise ever more important to our health. Exercise is simply purposeful movement and sustained physical exertion. Exercise does not have to be extreme to be beneficial (brisk walking is an excellent exercise), but it does need to be daily. Otherwise, none of our organ systems will function optimally. Exercise benefits not only your heart and cardiovascular system, but also your liver, your gut, your bones, your muscles, your brain, your sex life, and your emotional wellbeing. EVERY system in the body improves with exercise, but the reverse is also true: EVERY system is damaged when you do NOT exercise daily. On one level, health is embodied in the concept of “flow”: we need to take things into our body and we need to eliminate their waste products from our body. Exercise is the preeminent therapy to promote physical flow.
Ideally, exercise should combine three fundamental elements:
Each time you exercise, you should make sure your programme contains all three components of optimal exercise.
The amount of time you spend exercising is less important than doing it daily. Depending on your health goals the amount of time you need to exercise will change, but 20 minutes a day (that = 1.4% of your day) is probably a good minimal amount to make sure you have.
There have been some recent exciting discoveries in exercise physiology. High Intensity Interval Training (HIT) has demonstrated that 3 minutes of the right kind of exercise a week is enough to dramatically lower insulin (40%) and glucose (10%), and improve energy (100%) and stamina (100%). How could 3 minutes per week accomplish such phenomenal results? As you might expect, they a slightly odd 3 minutes – most of the experiments have used a stationary bicycle. For 20 seconds you cycle as hard and as fast as you can – then rest five minutes. Repeat the cycle 2 more times for a total of 60 seconds of exercise. Repeat the cycle 3 times a week. Dramatic benefits were seen within 6 weeks. HIT should not replace daily movement and exercise, but it demonstrates how small changes in your exercise habits can contribute significantly to your health and longevity. At Natural Health and Wellness Centre, we can help you find the exercise that fits into your life to make it longer, richer and healthier.