Why doctors are prescribing exercise
If there was a miracle cure available to help you live better and live longer, would you try it? In a 2015 report released by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, based on a two-year analysis of 200 separate studies, lead study author and Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon Scarlett McNally deemed exercise a miracle cure.1
The report confirms that exercising for just 30 minutes five times a week could essentially solve our global health crisis. Breast cancer risk can be reduced by up to 25 per cent, bowel cancer risk can be reduced by up to 45 per cent, dementia risk can be reduced by up to 30 per cent, stroke risk can be reduced by 30 per cent, and heart disease risk can be reduced by more than 40 per cent – all from regular exercise.
If you needed another reason to get moving, consider this: Exercise is a well- known buster of brain fatigue; regular activity can increase mitochondrial numbers in brain cells to benefit brain health.2 Even in the presence of disease, physical activity is potent. Kansas State University researchers discovered that moderate exercise may help to make cancer treatments more effective. A slow jog or a brisk walk around the block could help counteract some side effects of toxic cancer treatment.3
It’s time to lace up your trainers and get moving.
THE TOP 5 EXERCISES FOR GOOD HEALTH
Among all the research in support of exercise, one truth stands out. If you want all the health benefits exercise has to offer, the most important thing is that you get moving and stay moving on most days of the week. The type of exercise that you do can help you get even more out of your weekly workout programme.
In their report entitled the “Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise,” the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends a combination of strength training, aerobic, and flexibility exercises for all adults at least 150 minutes a week (matching Academy of Medical Royal Colleges recommendations).4
These exercises are appropriate for all activity levels and can make up a well- rounded workout plan:
1. Knee-to-Chest: This starter exercise is ideal if you are new to fitness or are recovering your health. Lie on your back on a firm bed, preferably when you first wake up in the morning. Bring one knee to your chest as high as you can and then alternate the other knee. Do as many of these knee- to-chest reps as you can count. Practice this exercise every day and work up your count as your lung and heart health improve.
2. On-the-Spot: One way to build up strength quickly and effectively is by practicing aerobic exercise in the comfort of your own home. Strengthen your lungs by exercising at a maximum rate for two minutes, six times per day, with the exercise of your choice — running in place, skipping, star jumps, etc. Build up your endurance in these daily bursts of activity so that your heart, lungs, and connecting muscles are working their hardest. Weight training can be added to this exercise at least two days a week to work all major muscle groups: the arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs. Weight training helps build lean muscle mass and can increase bone density to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
3. Walking: Walking daily is one of the best ways to get in shape, regardless of your fitness level. Walk in a fast, purposeful, long stride with your head held high and your chin parallel to the ground. Move your shoulders naturally and freely and keep stomach muscles tight. Swing your arms in a natural motion while walking briskly and tuck your pelvis under your torso. Build up to walking 3 to 5 miles per day and use wrist and ankle weights as you get stronger.
4. Running: When your health has improved so much that walking no longer presents a challenge, a high-intensity jog or run can keep your body fit. Research has busted the myth that running may be bad for the knees; the American College of Rheumatology confirms that regular running does not increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee and may even protect against the disease.5 Ohio State University researchers also recommend exercising in intervals, alternating walking and running, to maintain endurance during a workout.6
5. Yoga: The ACSM recommends flexibility exercises as part of a weekly workout routine for a reason – improving flexibility can keep you mobile with age, even reducing the risk of age-related falls. You can increase flexibility while strengthening your muscles in a full-body practice like yoga. Because of its total wellness benefits and protective effect against disease, Dr. Richard Usatine of Florida State University considers yoga the “prescription” for better health.7
4 SUPER NUTRIENTS TO POWER YOUR WORKOUT
To meet these exercise recommendations, and to keep your body going strong at least five days a week, you need gas in your tank. Daily nutritional support keeps your body from running on empty. Without this pre- and post-workout nutrition, you’ll soon hit that familiar exercise slump where you can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
You can break this vicious cycle with a daily boost of nutrients:
1. D-Ribose – Every athlete and exerciser needs this five-carbon sugar to maintain post-workout energy levels by supporting cellular regeneration. Renewed cellular energy means a faster recovery time and even more energy at your next workout. D-Ribose is powerful enough for professional athletes yet safe enough for children to use.
2. L-Arginine – One of the biggest benefits of regular exercise is its ability to strengthen your heart, reducing the risk of chronic disease. The protein amino acid L-Arginine is a healthy heart champion and prime supporter of post-workout recovery, known for its ability to improve circulation, open blood vessels, and protect against cardiovascular disease.
3. Magnesium – Magnesium is the marvellous mineral most people are deficient in, and it is the mineral your body needs to buffer the stress response created by exercise. When absorbed in a topical transdermal delivery system before a workout, magnesium is quickly utilized and can equip the body to better handle exercise-induced stress. Researchers discovered that taking a magnesium supplement helped to reduce the stress response in endurance athletes.8
4. Oxygen-enhancing enzyme – Aerobic exercise literally means “requiring free oxygen.” A refreshing dose of oxygen is exactly what your body needs to renew and repair after heavy exertion. A natural oxygen-enhancing liquid enzyme, derived from deep water seaweed extract, can support respiratory health and improve the cardiovascular system’s ability to absorb and transport oxygen during and after a workout.
Research tells us that nutrition and exercise are a winning combination, and it’s easy to see why exercise is called the miracle cure. Every step you take is one step closer to good health.
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1. “Exercise: The miracle cure and the role of the doctor in promoting it.” Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
2. Jennifer L. Steiner, E. Angela Murphy, Jamie L. Mcclellan, Martin D. Carmichael, J. Mark Davis. Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain. American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 2011.
3. Kansas State University. “Moderate exercise may make cancer treatments more effective, kinesiologist finds.” ScienceDaily.
4. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 2011 – Volume 43 – Issue 7 – pp 1334-1359, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318213fefb.
5. “Running does not lead to knee osteoarthritis, may protect people from developing disease, experts say.” American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
6. L. L. Long, M. Srinivasan. Walking, running, and resting under time, distance, and average speed constraints: optimality of walk-run-rest mixtures. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2013; 10 (81): 20120980 DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0980.
7. “Doctor Says Yoga May Be Prescription For Better Health.” Florida State University.
8. Golf SW, Bender S, Gruttner, J (1998) On the Significance of Magnesium in Extreme Physical Stress. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, Volume 12, issue 2, pp 197-202.