Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Improved Physical Well-Being Can Help You Live Better Longer

Our bodies are certainly a mystical, magical machine. It is totally amazing how inter-related all the functions of our body are. The best analogy I can think of, that most of us can relate to, is a car. My husband has always cautioned me to check the oil and water in the car every time I fill it up with gas. When we neglect to do so the condition of any other system in the car doesn't matter. It won't run.

The same is true with our body. You could say that our heart is the motor of our body. When we don't do what is necessary to take care of our heart, we don't run, or walk, or crawl. We don't exist anymore.

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States today.

Your heart is just like any other muscle in your body. If you don't use it you lose it. You have heard time and time again. All it takes is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times a week to keep your heart happy. In the Gallup Management Journal it is stated that when 400,000 Americans were surveyed, 27% stated they get 30 minutes or more exercise 5 days a week. Not a good percentage.

Aerobic exercise does not mean marathon running. It does not mean fitness club fees. You could drastically reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease simply by taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood 3 or 4 times a week. If you don't currently get much exercise you should start slowly and work yourself up to walking a mile and a half in 30 to 35 minutes. Of course you want to check with your Dr. before making any changes to your fitness program. You have your car checked for road worthy before any long trip, don't you? So to live better longer, increase your heart rate three to four times a week.

Dr. Mitch Berg tells us that diet and exercise have been shown to have a positive affect on people with breast, prostate and colon cancer. It also plays a role in how well people do during cancer treatment and in the following years.

We want to keep our entire body moving, from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet.

We increase the quality of our life by keeping our heart conditioned. Even though our heart is beating that does not mean we are living a better life longer. It simply means we are living longer.

Our heart is the most important muscle in our body but is by far not the only consideration to healthy physical well-being.

Besides keeping ourselves fit with physical exercise there are other components affecting our physical well-being. Some of these include:

Diet - It is no secret that we need to feed our body properly to fuel it for the exercise that is vital to balanced physical well-being.

Sleep - It has long been known that the average requirement of sleep per night is 7 to 8 hours. Today, unfortunately the average sleep per night has been reported as 6.7 hours on week-days. Lack of sleep not only causes us to feel all around cruddy moving slower and showing visible signs of sleepiness. We become forgetful, can't concentrate, make bad decisions and are more irritable.

Alcohol - heavy and regular alcohol consumption has been proven to have negative affect on the brain, liver, pancreas and heart. Some reports show that moderate consumption can have a positive affect on the heart. Moderate consumption is identified as 1 drink for women and 2 for men on a daily basis. Greater consumption for a longer period of time can cause brain shrinkage, decreased muscle coordination, learning and memory impairment, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and pancreatitis. Mouth and throat cancer have also been associated with heavy, regular alcohol consumption.

Smoking - today, everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer and possibly even death. It is written on all the cigarette packs. It is taught in schools. Pamphlets can be found in every Drs.office. To live better longer we need to be aware of other negative affect that smoking has on our body like:

Less benefit from physical training

Less muscle strength and flexibility

Disturbed sleep patterns

Shortness of breath (3 times that of non-smokers)

The bad new continues. Affect that smoking has on our bones and joints can increase the risk of osteoporosis, hip fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain as well as exercise related injury like bursitis, tendonitis sprains and fractures.

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