Health Naturally!


  by Marti Avila


Exercise:  Why do we need it?

    In order to keep our bodies running well we have to use them. If we don't we will lose the ability to do so. We need both aerobic and resistance exercises.

    Aerobic exercise increases the body’s ability to use oxygen through the circulation of blood through the heart and blood vessels.  Aerobic exercise (sustained rhythmic exercise that increases your heart rate) on a regular basis will help to lower the build up of plaque in the arteries and make the heart strong so it can more efficiently pump oxygenated nutrient-rich  blood throughout the body.

     Resistance exercises will strengthen muscles and increase bone density, thereby preserving bone mass. It's important to remember too that any  exercise will help burn off excess calories and thereby help keep our weight under control.

     Exercise will help us sleep better. And some theorize that regular exercise could activate the production of recovery hormones during sleep while increasing the body’s metabolic rate thereby promoting fat-burning.  And most of all, you just feel better and look better when you’re in shape.

How Much do we Need?

     15 to 60 minutes of continuous activity (running, walking, swimming etc.) three to five days a week was the accepted standard back in 1978 when the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) published its recommendations.  They went on to say that to increase the body’s ability to use oxygen in physical activity the pulse rate should be between 60% and 90% of the heart’s maximum rate for your age.  Since that time most experts have reduced that requirement. Today, William L. Haskell, a former president of the ACSM feels that those recommendations may have been set to high and has concluded that exercise by sedentary individuals at a pace slower than the ACSM recommendations can and does significantly increase their aerobic capacity.  

     Personally I like to walk at a fast pace, up and down hills, for 20 to 30 minutes three to four times a week. Two to three times a week I like to do strength training (lift weights) for my resistance exercises.

      When I’m on the road and am staying in a hotel, I like to do the exercises found in this book:  Pumping Iron: A Traveling Poker Player’s Ten Minute Hotel Room Workout. They're fast, easy to do and fun. Here are a couple of exercises from this humorous guide to staying in shape while on the road:   Click here.