It is well-known and accepted now that regular exercise is essential for good health. We were never sedentary creatures until relatively recent times and our bodies are not built for sitting all day. Studies suggest that sitting for six or more hours a day is as bad for your health as smoking. In fact, the negative effect on health has even been called ‘sitting disease.’
Regular Exercise Has So Many Proven Benefits
An investigation compiled from 12 large studies of nearly 1.5 million men and women followed for 10 years or more showed that people who exercise regularly have a significantly lower risk of developing breast, colon, lung, liver, blood, bone marrow, kidney, stomach, head and neck, esophagus, endometrium, rectum and bladder cancers. Those participants who exercised most were 20 percent less likely to develop any of these types of cancer than those who were the least active. Since the 12 studies were observational, they demonstrate only an association between exercise and lower rates of cancer, not necessarily pure cause and effect.
This scientific support for the benefits of regular exercise to reduce the risk of cancer adds to the list of compelling reasons to be active most days of the week. Aerobic exercise conditions our heart, arteries and respiratory system, increases fitness and stamina, and promotes detoxification of the blood by stimulating circulation and perspiration. It also elevates our feelings of well-being, increases strength, burns calories, improves immune system function, reduces stress, lowers blood cholesterol levels and tones the nervous system.
There is really nothing else that can achieve all of these compelling benefits for your overall health and well-being than daily physical activity.
Five Tips For Incorporating Exercise into Your Healing Lifestyle
1. Three keys are to make exercise regular, moderate and fun.
Whatever condition you are in, try to do whatever is within your capacity, even if that is just walking around the room a few times or doing some gentle stretches.
These days I exercise well within my capacity and never push myself to fatigue or exhaustion. Just try to increase your heart rate and breathing rate and make sure your muscles get some workout. It is also very beneficial to do some stretches or yoga.
Think of activities you enjoy and do those at least 4–5 times per week for an 30 minutes to one hour or more. These might include brisk walking, cycling, playing a sport, dancing, wing-suit flying (for the more adventurous adrenaline junkies!), gardening, bouncing to music on a rebounder or going to the gym.
If you make exercise fun, not only is it better for you, you are also more likely to keep it up.
2. Move every 20–60 minutes throughout the day
If you sit all day, get up every 20–30 minutes for at least 2–5 minutes and have a stretch or a short walk around the office or room. Or work for 50 minutes and then have a 10 minute break. This is actually more beneficial than sitting all day and then going for a half hour walk at the end of the day. Ideally, do both. The other benefit of taking regular breaks is that you are able to concentrate better and be more productive.
In my breaks I often jump on a rebounder for a few minutes. Another solution to help you sit less and move more is to work at a standing desk some or all the time, but you still need to take the breaks.
3. Include three types of exercise: cardiovascular, strength building and stretching.
That doesn’t mean a full gym workout, and in fact, don’t push yourself and overdo it as you need to save your surplus energy for healing. However, for the best health we need to condition the cardiovascular system as well as the muscles and spine.
4. Do some exercise first thing in the morning to pump your lymph fluid around.
After lying down all night the lymph fluid throughout your body stagnates as it doesn’t have an organ like the heart to pump it around.
You need to move in order to pump the lymph fluid and get it to the liver and kidneys where the toxins and waste products can be removed from the body via the urine.
One of the fastest and most effective ways to do this is to use a rebounder (or lymphaciser). I jump on mine for 10 minutes every morning and I do a short yoga routine. Sun salutations are an excellent and fun yoga exercise.
5. Do aerobic exercise twice daily for 3–60 minutes
The ultimate anti-cancer exercise program is to do aerobic exercise morning and evening for 30-45 minutes each. This makes sure that excess blood sugar is taken up by muscles instead of feeding cancer cells and it also oxygenates the entire body including the cancer cells.