Health & Wellness

Be Active

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Pumping Iron
Be Active
















Being active

We have all heard of the need to be active but why is it important? You body is a machine that needs to be active. The worse thing you can do is be inactive. Your body adjusts to your level of activity. Not unlike letting a car sit for long periods of time, which is the worse thing you can do for a car, your body "rusts".

Have you ever been in a hospital for a period of time or broken a bone? To heal, often what you have to do is immobilize the injured body part for an extended period of time. Even after a week the muscles in that part of your body start to adjust to the inactivity and literally deteriorate. The first thing you have to do as soon as you can is to start using that part of your body to build up the muscles again.

When I was 18, I broke my hand resulting in several major surgeries over a period of months. It was damaged badly enough to require splint on my hand and I had to carry it in a sling. I could not use it for weeks and months. Let's say it was pretty tough to drive my Mustang with stick shift. When I was finally healed and able to use it again, all the muscles in my arms atrophied. It took me additional months to build up those muscles again. I had to do specific weight training from my shoulder and back down to and including the muscles in my hand. This was my introduction to weight training.

The same thing happens when you are inactive in your lifestyle. If you do not challenge your body, if you spend your time in front of a TV or computer, when you need to walk up those stairs or in that mall, you won't be able to. You are in training for the rest of your life. If you can't walk up those stairs now what on earth makes you think you will be able to do it as you get older?

It is even more basic than that. As you get older, you lose support muscles for the major muscles in your body from lack of use. You need those support muscles to do things like walk and balance yourself. That is a real good reason Yoga and Tai Chi are so valuable as you get older. What good is it to live long if you can't do anything?

You don't have to be a marathon runner to be active. Simple walking is a great and practical exercise. Your body is designed to be active. When it isn't active, it does not function properly. Your blood doesn't flow as well. Your muscles atrophy. Food doesn't digest as well. You don't think as clearly.

So what can you do to be active? Keep it simple so you do it.

bulletWalk as often as you can
bulletHave your dog take you for a walk.
bulletWalk don't drive when ever you can. Save gas and save your life.
bulletClimb stairs instead of using an elevator or escalator
bulletGo to the mall and walk around. If you do it early enough you will run into others doing the same thing.
bulletTake your spouse/mate or children for a walk. Great time to share some special talk time with those people close to you.
bulletJoin a health club and use their facilities or machines to walk
bulletRide a bicycle
bulletThis is more advanced than walking and it lets you cover more territory
bulletRiding a bike is a great thing to do with a partner
bulletIf you ride on a street protect your head and obey street signs. Use hand signals. Beware of dummies in cars.
bulletStairs are great things
bulletGreat stamina builder and leg muscle exercise
bulletVery practical exercise since stairs are pretty common and it would be nice to be able to walk up stairs as you get older.
bulletLots of stairs and a fast pace is great heart exercise
bulletKeep it simple. Do things that you can do and enjoy
bulletIf you do something for 28 days it will be a habit. Make being active a habit. Don't make being inactive a habit you will regret.




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