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The Importance of Exercise

exercise, natural, health

We all know that exercise is important. It is certainly one of the practices that we need to incorporate into your life to ensure that we have a healthy, fulfilling life when the entire world around us seems to be falling apart. Most can recall the increased activity levels of our youth, but we seem to let go of the motivation to “move” as we age. Life gets busy and the gym loses its priority, and after a long day of sedentary work, we just want to relax. So a mental acknowledgment of the importance of exercise gives way to the practicality of daily living. Is that really so bad?

Truthfully, no healthy lifestyle is sustainable without proper exercise. I’m not suggesting that every person need to go spend hours in a gym every day or even that you have a gym membership. But “movement is necessary for health. Let’s look at some reasons.

Of primary importance is the fact that several of our body systems depend on movement to function properly. The circulatory system has the heart at its center – a pump that forces blood through arteries, veins, and capillaries to get nutrients and oxygen to all our cells. But look at three of these systems:

  • The respiratory system provides oxygen to the circulatory system for disbursement. But the amount of oxygen we have to send is dependent on how much is in the lungs. Deeper breathing, like that that accompanies exercise, provides the needed oxygen. And the bottom parts of the lungs may fill with fluids if we don’t breathe deeply regularly. Carbon dioxide is toxic and can stay for long periods of time in the lower lungs if we don’t breathe deeply – e.g., exercise!
  • Elimination from the digestive system requires movement. There is no digestive “pump”. Movement of nutrients from digestion throughout the digestive systems depends on the peristalsis that comes from muscles pressing against the intestines and colon. Bowel “movements” require movement!
  • The lymphatic system is the system that removes dead cells from within the body. It is estimated that the body is made up of some 50-100 trillion cells and about 300 million of them die and are replaced every minute. Those in the digestive tract are generally removed through the digestive tract, but the remainder is removed by the lymphatic system. And it requires muscle contractions to move dead cells through peristalsis. Without exercise, those dead cells just rest and putrefy inside your body contributing to disease.

Most publicity about exercise centers on weight management. You probably know a lot about that already, so I’ll just point out that a pound of body weight equals around 3500 calories. We have machines to measure your metabolic rates. Each person’s rates are different and depend on factors such as current weight, exercise levels, types of foods consumed, and caloric intake. For most people, the rates run around 1200 to 2500 calories burned per day. If you consume more than you burn, you gain weight. Exercise not only burns calories, but it also raises your metabolic rate, making it easier to burn more.

And one writer I read recently stated that “a sedentary lifestyle is the new cancer.” I know of many people who decide to retire from work and then go home, sit down, watch TV, and die within a couple of years. We were created for movement.

Whether you exercise to feel better, to lose weight, to look better, or to help prevent disease, know that it helps in all these lifestyle factors. Get moving!

For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

A Game Changer – Body Systems

For years we’ve described our ailments in terms of specific aches – e.g., my head hurts so I need an aspirin; my tummy hurts so I need an antacid, etc. But the fallacy in this approach is that we are just treating symptoms. We may alleviate some individual discomfort, but we haven’t addressed the underlying problems.

But today, in addition to helping get rid of temporary discomfort, many of our better supplement companies are putting together herbal combinations that address the functioning of whole body systems. Now THAT’S a “game changer!” I can still give you an aspirin (or an aspirin substitute with fewer side effects) for your headache, but I may now give you a more complete herbal combination to treat your body’s many pain centers.

One of my main product suppliers has divided the body into nine primary body systems – the digestive system, the immune system, the intestinal system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the lymphatic system, the glandular system, the structural system, and the colon – and has used a panel of herbalist to formulate an “umbrella” supplement for each system. It’s a formula meant to keep that whole body system healthy. And they’ve kept the individual formulas for specific issues within the system.

So, for example, if you know you have a weak heart, you may just want to take a supplement that strengthens the heart muscle. My family genetics centers on an issue with the heart. So, for a number of years, I’ve been taking hawthorn, an herb known to strengthen the heart. So when my heart issues finally flared up my cardiologist said, “Based on what I found in your circulatory structure, you should have died five years ago. But your heart is incredibly strong, and I’m finding no other issues, I believe you should live another 20 years!” Needless to say, I have also been taking the core circulatory system products for many years as well.

New research has also unfolded another body system that is being called The Master System. It is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It appears to be the center of the wheel that keeps all the other systems working properly. Over 200 cannabinoids have been identified and about 85 of them have been studied. This system seems to release cells to travel to other cells signaling them to adjust their activity levels. This is an exciting new area of research, and portions of it are heavy in the news these days.

The systems approach to body balance is the real “game changer.” I love the quote from Albert Einstein that was in a pamphlet supplied by one of my vendors. He says, “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.” Study YOUR body and seek help in finding the system products that will give you a longer life with more quality!

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130 | ph:736-1030 | e-mail: pawpaw@thehealthpatch.com
Call to schedule your private health consultation with one of our five Naturopathic Doctors!