Researchers have grouped the type of exercise we all need into four major groups:
Endurance, or aerobic activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities.
Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Even small increases in strength can make a big difference in your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities, such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. These exercises also are called “strength training” or “resistance training.”
Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults. Many lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance.
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as well as for your everyday activities.
TAKE NO PRISONERS
OK, so here’s the big question. Too little? Too Much? Exercising is sort of like Goldilocks with her “This one’s too big…this one’s not enough.” Finding your “this is just perfect” should be the goal. The current broad guidelines from governmental and health organizations call for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to build and maintain health and fitness. 150 minutes? Sounds like a lifetime. According to The Mayo Clinic it seems much less mind boggling to break it down. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Even brief bouts of activity offer benefits. For instance, if you can’t fit in one 30-minute walk, try three 10-minute walks instead. Or put on your animal hides. A growing body of clinical research maintains that the ideal fitness regimen is one that mimics our gatherer ancestors, which included short bursts of high-intensity activities. Run after buffalo, stop and take down buffalo, get 1400 lb. beast back to village. Forage, scavenge, get those arrows soaring. All guaranteed to up your fitness factor. These ancestors didn’t suffer from many of the diseases that plague us today. They were, however, motivated by the downside of being eaten first. Intensity is important, but “strenuous” doesn’t mean thinking hard about whether to exercise. No one says you have to do “marathon” anything.
OBSESSION ISN’T SPORTING
We’ve created a cult-like mass of fitness maniacs who believe if it doesn’t hurt like hell, it’s not worth doing. Sweat, grunt, push, scream, lose enough fluids to make you too weak to hit the wall, let along get close to it. A blond woman in a hot pink spandex tank hoists a sledgehammer over her shoulders, then slams it down with a dull thud onto the big tire in front of her. Beside her, another woman swings her sledgehammer even higher, grimacing and groaning with the effort. Why not join a roofing crew for a few hours instead? Surely, there’s a tunnel somewhere that needs digging, or at least some hot tar that needs pouring. We don’t have to pump up like Roman Spartans or Gladiators. We don’t have to work Thor-like to keep an empire alive. Yet we watch obsessed by shows like American Ninja Warrior and punish ourselves because we can’t capture the zealot-like performance they demonstrate. Accept it with rational grace: your max isn’t the other guy’s max. You can’t be expected to waltz (Aerobic Tango would be more appropriate) in anywhere and compete this way. Sometimes going for the burn ends up “going to the emergency room. There are injuries galore on Dancing with the Stars. Now that’s real pain.
HORMONES GONE ROGUE
A “DO OR DIE” WORKOUT ATTITUDE CAN TAKE A REAL HIT ON YOUR HORMONES.
EXERCISE IS A STRESS ON THE BODY OFTEN CAUSING A DEBILITATING HORMONE IMBALANCE. WHEN YOUR HORMONES ARE IMBALANCED IT CAN ACTUALLY CAUSE YOUR BODY TO BREAK DOWN. THE SUREST WAY TO LIFT YOURSELF BACK UP IS WITH A VISIT TO DENVER HORMONE HEALTH. DR. STEPHEN A. GOLDSTEIN, M.D, F.A.C.S. CAN HELP YOU GET BACK IN GREAT SHAPE WITH AN ASSESMENT OF YOUR PROBLEMS AND AN INDIVIDUALIZED PROGRAM THAT WILL RESTORE YOUR PERFORMANCE HELPING YOU REACH THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL OF FEELING GREAT.