EXERCISE YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND
By Rick Coupland
It is well known that everybody can benefit from exercise,
yet very few of us ever engage in a regular routine. The majority
of our jobs today don't involve physical exercise; many of us are
stuck with desk jobs, staring at computer screens 40 hours a
week. Kids spend far too much time watching TV, playing video
games, etc. .... all forms of entertainment designed to make the
We must discipline ourselves to put aside 15 to 20 minutes a
day, 3 or 4 times a week, for a variety of stretching, walking,
lifting weights etc., to compensate for what our body is lacking
throughout the week. The right combination of exercise and
nutrition increases both muscle strength and energy. When your
body is working more efficiently, your energy levels soar.
Everyday things become much easier to do.
Gaining control of your body size and weight through fitness
is a wonderful way to in crease your self-esteem. You will look
better and feel more confident, which will show in everything you
do. You will also find that the self-discipline required through
regular exercise will spill over into other areas of your life.
Exercising your mind is just as important. Research shows
that regular exercise helps to keep the brain sharp, well into
old age. Anything that involves mental activity (focus and
concentration) is improved. You will stand a much better chance
of avoiding diseases such as Alzheimer's and senility.
Dr. Walter Bortz is quoted in the journal of American
Geriatrics Society, "There is no medicine that can help overcome
the range of conditions for which exercise has been prescribed".
And here are some benefits of regular exercise that he is talking
* Reduce high blood pressure
* Help prevent heart and stroke disease
* Regulate your weight and control obesity
* Strengthen your back, therefore reducing back pains that so
many of us suffer from
* Getting a good night's sleep
* Reduce stress, resulting in a feel-good lifestyle
A study carried out by the University of Hong Kong reports
20% of all deaths of people 35 and older were attributed to a
lack of physical activity. That's more deaths than can be
attributed to smoking. The risk of dying from respiratory
ailments was 92% higher for men and 75% higher for women due to a
lack of exercise.
Physical activity gets everything moving in your body ....
the blood, the oxygen, the nutrients, the cellular respiration,
the nervous system, and so much more. Sweating is good for you as
well .... you sweat out toxins and replace the lost liquids by
drinking fresh, clean water. Physical exercise, if done outside,
also exposes you to the healing effects of natural sunlight, an
essential nutrient for the human body that is deficient in most
people (vitamin D3).
Exercising should be fun, not something that you dread
doing. For starters, choose an activity that you enjoy, like a
nice walk in the evening, or leisurely bike ride. Find somebody
to join you, exercising is always more fun in pairs or groups,
and is more motivational also. This can lead to joining a gym or
night classes at your local school. There are classes at most
gyms that have been designed just for Seniors also.
Try to make changes to your everyday routines, wherever
possible, that will allow for more exercise: here's some
* In an apartment, or at the shopping mall, take the stairs, walk
to the corner convenience store, rather than driving all of the
* Wash your car at home with a bucket and sponge
* Mow your lawn with a push or gas mower, rather than a riding
* Shovel your driveway in the winter, rather than using a
* Adding more exercise to your lifestyle is habit-forming.
For those guilty of watching too much TV; if you can't cut
back, try to incorporate exercise into your TV time. While
sitting in your favourite recliner, use some small weights for a
few arm curls. If you're not able to lift heavy objects, a can of
soup is a good substitute. Use commercial breaks as a time for
stretching, jumping jacks, running on the spot, etc. Anything is
better than sitting idle for 2 or 3 hours at a time!
Seniors: I have a senior friend, George, who just turned 91
recently. He walks to the YMCA 3 times a week for his Seniors'
exercise group and follows up with a swim in the pool. He also
bowls twice a week. Now I realize not all 91 year olds
are able to keep up with him, but I'm sure his dedication to
exercise over the years has kept him young.
If you are older, perhaps confined to a wheelchair, ask
your nurse or health care aide for some simple exercises that
could benefit you. Pulling on opposite ends of a small tea towel,
squeezing a soft sponge ball, little stretches that can be
performed throughout the day are just a few examples.
We can't use the excuse of lacking information; exercise and
nutrition really do make a difference. Sometimes we just need a
push - or reminder to do things .... exercise is one of them. You
just have to learn to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
If you normally wake up at 7:00 a.m., then get up at 6:40 a.m. If
you can't find a gym nearby, purchase some gym equipment for your
"Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will
sooner or later have to find time for illness"; (Edward Stanley)
Rick Coupland writes for www.associationcovenantpeople.org
I fully agree with the above article. I'm 68 as this is entered
here. I have a bike for riding into the park especially on the
Sabbath day, in the summer time. I jog around my apartment for 10
minutes or so each day. I do some old Charles Atlas "dynamic
tention" (pushing one muscle against another or pulling one
muscle against another) and stretching exercises (you know like
the cat does). I go swimming twice a week. Yes, I park the car at
Malls far from the entrance and walk fast and with a bounce. And
I have my wonderful horse and try to ride her 2 or 3 times a
Just watched a documentary on the "mind and memory" - and
physical exercise they have found is most important for the
brain, more blood flow and oxygen.
So if you do not have a weekly plan of exercise.....now is the
time (it's always the time) to put one in place for you and your
family (if you are raising children).