Youthfulness is related to activity in every model of health and aging that we study. Regular exercise and abundant activity are key elements in maintaining health and preserving the biological functions associated with youthfulness.
The issue of activity is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. We can make choices to increase our activity level in hundreds of little ways as well as the larger more obvious ones. Parking the car at the periphery of the parking lot, taking stairs when possible and just getting up and moving around when taking a work break make a big difference when practiced regularly. Taking a pet for a walk, light gardening and housekeeping are examples of activities to improve health. Many experts believe that the increase in general activity is at least as important as the more focused types of exercise that are given more attention in the media. The individual who stays in motion is more likely to remain healthy than the one who tends to sit still.
Focused exercise includes strength training, flexibility/balance training, and aerobic/endurance training. Maintaining a balanced program is the key to maximizing benefit and avoiding injury. There is abundant scientific evidence accumulated over the last 50 years to support the value of exercise in every measured area of health promotion, disease treatment, and healthy aging.
Endurance or Aerobic activities are the long slow distance activities. They include walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. There are a variety of new technologies such as stair climbers and elliptical machines. There are a few key principles to consider when creating an aerobic program.
Get clearance from a health professional if you have been sedentary, are over age 40, or have background health problems such as heart disease or diabetes.
Plan a program that is reasonable and safe. Consider utilizing the services of an athletic trainer to start your program. This will improve the chances that you will set reasonable goals, avoid injury and stick to your program.
Commit to a regular practice. Sporadic practice is not beneficial and is unsafe.
Create a varied program. Doing the same type of exercise over and over will increase the chance of injury and may lead to boredom.
Regular aerobic training has many health benefits, which include:
Control of Body Weight
Improvement of Cognitive Function, (memory and thinking ability)
Improvement of symptoms of Depression
Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke
Lowering of Blood Pressure
Improvement of Blood Sugar Metabolism and Diabetes
Improvement of Anabolic, (anti-aging hormone) Hormone production.
Improvement of Immune Function
Supports Detoxification Activities of your body
Flexibility and Balance training is an important part of a health enhancement program. This is an essential skill to maintain as we age. Falling is the major cause of disability and loss of independence as we age. Falls occur from a combination of problems including visual problems, loss of strength in the muscles of the trunk and lower extremities and loss of balancing ability. Flexibility and Balance exercises will prevent falling and prevent injuries from aerobic activity and strength training exercises. A flexibility program can be initiated by the individual but is best started under the guidance of a teacher. Special types of flexibility and balance programs include Yoga practice. I think this is one of the best activities for health promotion. It includes so many of the foundation principles for health enhancement including flexibility and balance training, strength training, detoxification, participation with a community of people, (support group) and attention to the spiritual side. The key to success is regularity of practice.
Flexibility and Balance Training, particularly Yoga has many health benefits, which include:
Blood Pressure Reduction
Improvement in Breathing
Enhancement of Cognitive Function, (memory and thinking ability)
Prevention of Falls
Prevention of Injury
Strength Training is an important part of health enhancement and disease prevention programs. Strength training has been used in adults at all ages and in all states of health. When done properly, it has shown to enhance health, reduce disability and improve disease management in all conditions. It is important to initiate a program with a trainer who has been qualified by the American College of Sports Medicine or a licensed professional such as a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor. Lightweight, slow repetition patterns have been shown to be safe, highly beneficial and require a minimal amount of time. The benefits of increasing strength and muscle mass are many and include:
Enhanced Well-Being and Confidence
The increase in muscle mass relative to fat will result in an increase in basal metabolic rate with the consequence of a higher energy production and improvement in weight control and maintenance.
Increased strength in the lower extremities and pelvic girdle muscles will result in a reduced incidence of falls. In the elderly, falls are one of the main causes of disability and dependence.
We have excellent resources for individuals who are in need of a supervised program. Age is not a limiting factor.
Whole Body Vibration
Medical Gym and Wellness