(continued from our August Newsletter 2012)
A body made fit through regular exercise contributes to overall physical health in a number of ways. The lymph system is similar to the circulatory system, running throughout. But where the heart pumps blood through the circulatory system, it is body movement that stimulates the lymph system and moves things through it. As we know, the lymph system is a key part of the immune system and the body's ability to cleanse itself. Little movement and bad muscle tone means poor lymph function and even clogged lymph ducts. Veins don't work exactly like the lymph system, because they do have some back pressure from the heart pumping. However, like the lymph system, they benefit greatly from muscle tone and movement.
Exercise usually involves sweating. The skin is the largest organ of the body and the body tries to push a lot of impurities out through the skin, resulting in pimples, rashes, and other such things. Sweating helps to rid the body of impurities, and of course, that makes us healthier. Exercise almost always causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respirations. That's a good thing. Occasionally increasing the heart rate and blood pressure helps to keep the circulatory system working right. And blood is pretty important. No blood, no life. Hard breathing opens up alveoli in lungs that increases the efficiency of the oxygen transfer in the lungs, ensuring that all of the cells of your body get the oxygen that they need. This will actually make you feel better.
Running/jogging is a staple of the fitness community. I have always enjoyed sports that involve running. I have always loathed running. I get bored. Fast. When I get bored, every single little ache and pain and discomfort seems to be magnified. If I am playing a sport, I don't even notice it. Or at least, I didn't in the past. And so, in the past, when I needed to get into shape again, I would just start playing a sport, mostly basketball. Nowadays, certain pains are getting more insistent, despite the adrenaline and complete lack of boredom. And I also tend to injure myself playing the sports rather than increase the level of my physical fitness. (These are probably related. See Zig Ziegler's blog for interesting information on how an injury or structural or muscle imbalance can cause future injuries) Which means I need a lower impact exercise routine to obtain a certain level of fitness. And, I'm afraid I'm probably going to have to start jogging. Jogging is not exactly low impact, so having good shoes and running on grass or even dirt is preferable to pavement or concrete.
But, due to some happenings over the last few weeks, I'm actually thinking, because of some injuries and just a general lack of injury preventing muscle strength, that I'm going to have to start with something even more low impact. Maybe even something "girly". I've deteriorated to the point that I may be unable to really do anything else without irritating old injuries or causing new ones. I need to build from the ground up. Some things that I've thought about are pilates. Or maybe a stretching program, something like this. While I was browsing around on Amazon, I saw an exercise program for seniors that was all done while sitting in your chair that looked about my speed. My wife started doing T-Tapp. She has a lot of friends who have done it with great results. I am also thinking about doing some weight lifting, high repetitions to start conditioning my muscles and whip them back into shape. Our operations manager Jeff and his wife started P90X .My wife says that everybody that she knows that has done it gets into fantastic shape. Jeff and company did the first session and were kind of sore for the next couple of days. They did the next one, and um, you know, I seriously don't know why they all thought it was so funny that I was so sore, having recently been unable to move without pain themselves. To my knowledge, session 3 of P90X has not been started, and perhaps may never get started (editor's note: Yup, no session three yet! I've retreated, and am now just doing some light jogging instead *shame* - Jeff ).
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do, but it will probably involve at least one or two of the above exercise schemes, along with general stretching, pushups, sit-ups and other such things. Doing pushups and situps before bed seems to be a good thing for me. Tires me out a little without getting me all worked up so that I can't sleep. The important thing is to be doing something on a consistent basis, something that will build up, make us stronger, and not tear us down or wear us out. I would encourage all of you to figure out something that you can do regularly, hopefully something that you enjoy or integrates nicely into your schedule. You might consider things that you can do as a family. Our local martial arts location has a great family plan that we might get into in the future. Very reasonable, and we get to learn something that might come in handy while exercising. It is not often that one gets attacked by a rogue soccer ball, so those soccer skills are probably not as useful as self-defense.
Over the past few months, something was off about my exercise routine, and I finally figured out what it was. And once I did, I felt kind of stupid for not figuring it out before. I would get done with an intense exercise times, and I would feel really bad. Not just my muscles, but my overall body, like I had the flu or something. My diet, and supplementation regimen is based upon my normal, sedentary lifestyle. When my exercise level goes up, my supplementation and food intake needs to be up as well, especially in certain areas. Can you say with me, "Duh." When I am not exercising daily, we usually eat well enough that I don't have to supplement with a daily multivitamin. But when my activity level goes up, as it usually does during the summer, I really need to. And for some who don't eat organic foods and grass fed meats, a daily multi may be essential all of the time, and an extra dose when exercising could be of great value.
I'm trying to get healthier, and exercise is a part of that, but so is what I am eating, what I avoid eating, and of course, supplements that I am taking. I have certain supplements that I take for maintenance, others that I'm taking to push my health to higher levels, and now, I will be adding others to support the needs of regular strenuous activity.
Here is what I am planning to take and why:
Green Superfoods Multi - Daily multi for vitamins and minerals and maintenance cleansing
Bee Pollen - Superfood used by athletes, lots of nutrients
Mineral Complex - most multis have some minerals, but not all of the minerals that you need for life, and certainly not all that you need for muscle and tissue repair, and growth.
Glucosamine/MSM - great for joints, especially as we get older.
Cod liver oil - tons of nutrients and a great oil for soft tissue and joint health. I will probably alternate between the Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil Capsules and the Beeyoutiful Liquid Cod Liver OIl.
High Vitamin Butter Oil - insane amounts of concentrated nutrients. This and the cod liver oil are part of my general health, and especially oral health push. Believe it or not, you can reverse cavities with these.
Calcium/Magnesium - I think my bone density has slipped a bit and my bones need to be remineralized. Gotta have the materials. Plus, there are some regular body functions that require these two components - especially having to do with heavy activity levels.
CoQ10 - Absolutely essential for energy production. Can make the whole body run better. Prescribed by a lot of anti-aging doctors. Can make us feel and even look younger.
Bromelain - This stuff is a fantastic anti-inflammatory for when I get sore muscles or more importantly, when I strain something.
Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme essential oils - You might not know this stuff is great for sore muscles and inflammation.
Massage Oil - You need something to mix with the essential oils for a good massage. Almond works great.
Arnica - is also great to work into bruises, or sore muscles - as early as possible.