Summary: This blog is about exercise and its benefits to the body.
Exercise is always in the news. There doesn’t appear to be many articles that prove that exercise is bad for us. At least I have not seen any. Our friends will tell us that when you are born you only get a certain number of heartbeats and if you exercise, it will shorten you time on earth by using up your heart beats. Well, we all know that exercise is associated with multiple health benefits. Before man became civilized, he roamed around, gathering things to eat. It is felt that he covered 8 or 10 miles a day. We can see by our musculoskeletal structure that we were designed to be on the move, constantly.
If Americans were all fit and active into old age, there would be no need for websites like thindex.com. You are here because you want some information on why you should think about doing a little more exercising and see how it goes.
It can be discouraging to look in a mirror and see a big pot belly. Your doctor may tell you that your have “Syndrome X” which means you belly fat has taken on a life of its own and is making it difficult for insulin to work properly. This is the fast road to diabetes and heart disease. In 2008 a nice study was done on three groups of people who already had “syndrome x”. There was the control group and a low intensity exercise group and finally the high intensity exercise group. The exercise sessions burned about 400 calories per session in each test group. Body fat was measured and CT scans of the abdomen were done to see how the 3 groups did. The first two groups showed no change. The high intensity exercise group reduced their subcutaneous and intra abdominal fat by a significant amount. The study was conducted for 4 months. The message here is that to lose your mesenteric fat once you have developed “syndrome x”, you need to go to high intensity exercising after approval by your doctor.
Another nagging problem that occurs with getting older is “sarcopenia” or losing muscle. If we don’t exercise we lose a couple of pounds of muscle a year. Muscle uses up calories, so as muscle disappears and fat shows up, then we need to eat less as we age or we will become chubby, and then obese. As we become weaker with every year, it becomes more and more difficult to get out and exercise. It is a vicious cycle. If you are a person that gains weight around the waist, then “syndrome x” is in your future but sarcopenia may already be happening. Most of us have lost 10 percent of our muscle mass by age 50. Then it really gets going, worse every year. So exercising regularly can prevent this loss of muscle. A brisk walk for an hour per day and some sit-ups in the morning and exercising if you watch TV, can help minimize the muscle loss. We tend to think of getting old and not being incapable of change. Our old bodies can adapt to exercise quite well. It’s us finding the time and sticking with the program that is the problem
And next on the list is osteoporosis. This usually comes on in women and is the latest scare we all read about. What is actually occurring is sarcopenia. The bones just are responding to the same lazy lifestyle that caused all the muscles to dry up. The problem with osteoporosis is that once the bone disappears out your kidneys, it is hard to get it back. It is so much easier to prevent this than it is to reverse it. Stay strong with an exercise that you can do day in and day out to prevent sarcopenia and osteoporosis.
Don’t listen to people tell you that you are too old to make any changes. It just isn’t true. Our bodies are amazing machines that are begging us to eat properly and take them out for some exercise.
whats best ideal – fat burning zone
As you sit there, reading this, and I sit here writing it, we are burning fat. That is the fuel that we use at rest. Let’s go outside and walk slowly along. We are now burning more calories because we are working harder and still using mostly fat. Now. lets walk faster and we start to breathe harder as we burn more oxygen and emit more carbon dioxide. We are now using carbohydrates as well as fat for fuel. Also our muscles are doing more work because we are not as efficient, fuel wise, with a fast walk as a slow walk.
So now we do a slow jog and we burn more fuel but the same small amount of fat. We then trot and convert our energy burning to mostly carbs. At a run or sprint, the amount of energy consumed is huge. There is a zone there, short of sprinting, where we can sustain the pace for 30 minutes to an hour, with some training. One way of calculating it is to take 220 and subtract your age and use that as you maximum rate and shoot for 80 percent of that rate as your eventual target. Your heart is working long and hard here in this zone. Many calories are being consumed and your body will continue to have a high metabolic rate for a day after the exercise. This is a pretty cool thing that gives you a good weapon to control your weight, minimize sarcopenia, and osteopenia, and protect your heart from getting ischemic heart disease, the number one killer of men and women. To exercise in this zone is an odd thing in America. Probably only a few of your friends exercise this way. I have 2 friends that do it. If you go back a million years or so, more of us were into it. It is how we were designed. It is the way we should roll.
This higher level of exercise does not come without a warning label. For a sedentary person to move to a sustained running program takes an evaluation by a physician and a very slow, progressive upgrade in exercise over a long period to allow the body to make the changes in it’s makeup as you make changes in your “giddy-up”. Many people have taken an ischemic heart out for a run and come home feet first. Be careful out there. And, always run on grass if you can.
We have all read about the help we get from 30 minutes of slow walking, twice each year. Well, if that is your goal, you are in the wrong website. Serious weight losers exercise over one hour a day, and usually two. And this is combined with a calorie restricted low fat diet. Find time to do balance work and check our videos of balance and shoulder exercises that can be done multiple times during the day, to bring your heart rate up. Jumping rope is another quick exercise that can send your heart into the “zone” in a hurry. Hula hoop use if the TV is on should be mandatory in all homes.
end results of a successful exercise program
Visceral fat and body fat ratios are more favorable. This means that your body will not be under the influence of a large glob of fat inside your belly that is functioning like an unfriendly gland.
How it changes the body:
A successful exercise program of building up to an hour of vigorous exercise will send a new message that speeds up your metabolism, even when you are not exercising. Your bones get the message to lay on more calcium and phosphorus so that they can do this new exercise thing. Eventually the whole body is on board after a few months of bitching and moaning.
Burning off excess energy is what we are designed to do. It stimulates our brain to be at its best. New stimulants are produced which encourage the brain to make new neurons. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. (No offense, Casey) Check this whole subject out in the book “Spark”, by Dr Ratey. We have his YouTube Video, also.
VO2 max is the ability of your body to use oxygen to do work. It is better than any other vital sign to judge health. After age 30 your vo2max decreases by 5 to 15 % for each decade of life. As you get close to your time of death, your walking speed slows down considerably. These changes can be improved by working out daily to hold or improve your vo2max and keep your walking pace as fast as you can. This slows the aging process and improves the quality of life of our aging population.
- its all genetics anyway none of this is proven
Identical twins raised apart, with different exercise exposure – showed different BMIs reflecting the different activity level. All this exercise data is proven. The problem is us being lazy and going the excuse route.
- I have never exercised.
Not a problem. You will get used to breathing hard. You will need to take it much slower and be more patient with your body to make the slow changes needed for a more active lifestyle. Remember that weak bones take over a year to turn into strong bones.
- I have med problems.
Don’t we all. Many of our problems are improved by a higher activity level including depression which may affect as many as 40 per cent of us. Check out the book “spark” where Dr. Ratey defines all the psych problems that are helped by exercise. Parkinsons, depression, ADD, Diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, insomnia, myofaceitis, syndrome x, and many more.
- I’m too fat.
There may be something to this. Some people that are 150 pounds or more overweight are fighting a very uphill battle. It becomes such a struggle to even walk slowly. As the sedentary life becomes more alluring, the body becomes weaker and less able to move. At some point a person reaches “critical mass” where just a few out of hundreds can succeed. For a few of these there is bariatric surgery where portion size is mandatory by decreasing the stomach size. Check out the video “fat, sick, and almost dead”.
- I’m worried about having a heart attack with exercise.
This is certainly a concern. A vegetable based diet for a month is a good start with moving to a progressive walking program. See Dr. Esselstyn’s video and paper showing his results in people that had very compromised arteries, including our former president.
- I’m waiting for an easier way/pill/operation
Great. Big Pharma is certainly working on meds that will cause weight loss. They have not always been forthcoming in “helping us” in the past. As far as surgery, check out our “bariatric surgery” section. The surgery is there now and it works very well for those that can not get it done, otherwise.
Watch the video, do exercises with balance throughout the day, run on grass, walk, bike, swim for up to a minimum end point of an hour. Get your pulse up. Make your heart do its job. Exercise for at least one hour for every 3 hours you sit. If that does not work then exercise one hour for every 2 hours you sit. Walk or ride a bike to work. Do not sit and watch TV – walk instead or do the exercises or a hula hoop, or jump rope if you do watch. Do sit ups. Sore muscles are the bodies way of saying “Thanks for the run yesterday, I’m working on being the new body you can be proud of”. Use advice from our website and others and then make your plan for a better life from now on.
exercise and the older adult www.acsm.ort
fat burning zone Jonny Bowden M.A. C.N. http//health.yahoo.com/health/partner/ivillage/fittness_feature_O.html
slow walking and cardiovascular death Dumurgier et al. BMJ 2009;339:4460
weighing the evidence on exercise Reynolds hhtp://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/magazine/18exercise-t.html?th=&pagewanted+print
exercise and acute cardiovascular events: placing the risks into perspetive
exercise may cure grumpiness
success seen in weight-loss program