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Cape Cod Get Out And Exercise!

Use it or lose it! The activity people do as part of their daily routine has diminished greatly over the last 100 years. Estimates are that the average person is now less than half as active as their great grandparents. All animals need exercise to stay healthy and we are just not getting enough. Combined with the omnipresence of food in the society, this is a toxic scenario and a large contributor to the epidemic of heart disease and diabetes.

Just one of many recent reviews of this concept was the Diabetes Prevention Project, a study reported in 2004. The DPP showed that regular exercise alone could prevent diabetes in 58% of participants over a 3-year span. This remarkable result was seen in all ethnic groups and in men as well as women. Clearly this is a powerful intervention.

What are the effects of exercise on animals and people?

1) Increasing the production of nitric oxide by blood vessels improving their ability to dilate. This is how Viagra works. Unfortunately, Viagra is not a substitute for exercise, but exercise does act as a natural form of Viagra!

2) Weight loss through use of calories to move and the generation of heat. This residual warmth after exercise requires hours to dissipate completely and itself uses calories long after the exercise is over.

3) Provides a frequent “stress test” that gives you reassurance that things are O.K. or an early warning if things are going wrong.

4) Exercise uses up adrenaline and other stress hormones reducing tension and anxiety for hours after activity.

5) Provides intangibles such as time for creative thinking and respite from the noise of daily life.

There are several considerations to developing a regular exercise routine:

1) It must be at least somewhat appealing. Obviously it is not sustainable if it is viewed as planned torture.

2) You need to carve out a time that works on a regular basis. A regular set aside time seems to work best and helps avoid the “I’ll do it later” syndrome. Studies show that people who exercise first thing in the morning are much more likely to stay with it long term. As a bonus it can replace at least one of those cups of coffee as a wake up call. We will help you find a program that works for you and support you to stick with it.

3) It must be vigorous enough- Strolling may be a good stress management tool but it won’t exercise your heart or change your blood vessels. 20 minutes of fairly vigorous exercise, getting hot and sweaty, is far more effective (and easier to fit into your schedule) than an hour of slow walking or biking.

4) Different forms of exercise on different days- biking in good weather, the gym in bad, swimming in summer, brisk walking in winter works well here on Cape Cod.

5) You can divide up the exercise time for convenience: several 10 minute sessions a day, such as a walk from the car to work, a brief walk at lunch and a few minutes before getting in the car before the commute home are just as effective as a 30 minute session.

6) You may need the discipline imposed by a heart rate monitor, personal trainer or coach to gauge your level of activity but the cornerstone is a regular routine.

So what are you waiting for?  Get up and go!!!

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Cardiovascular Wellness
Posted by Cardiovascular Wellness - (website) on 06/09/08
Categories: Life
Keywords: exercise, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart, weight loss,



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