Like many people, your New Year’s resolution may be to exercise more. It’s great if your motivation stems from wanting to lose a few pounds and look good in your swimsuit or what have you, but I think it can be even more motivating and empowering if you are aware of what exercise may do for your health.
If you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolution includes something along the lines of exercising more or starting an exercise regimen if you’re not someone who is normally physically active.
The beauty of the Internet is that we have access to all sorts of information, including information about health-related issues. The problem is that sometimes people do not always get their information from credible sources. As a result, misinformation can result.
How many hours would you say you work per week? And then if you have a desk job or a job that involves hours of sitting (such as trucking), as many Americans do, how many hours do you sit per week? Don’t forget to include that time spent on the couch watching your favorite TV shows! Or how many hours you sit per week due to your job commute.
Celebrity trainer and fitness guru Jillian Michaels said you should always eat something before working out. I happen to agree with her. I wrote a blog about how we need micronutrients, including iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C and E (just to name a few), in order to fuel our bodies for physical fitness. And, of course, let’s not forget the importance of macronutrients.
It is always important to be curious and informed because it enables us to be more proactive and take ownership of our health. When it comes to heart disease, we tend to focus on prevention. And yes, prevention is important but what about those who have been diagnosed with heart disease or had a servious heart issue like a stroke?
It’s crazy if you think about it. But many Americans sit more hours during the day than they sleep at night!
Doing squats is great for strengthening our quads and tightening up our glutes. But the following story is an example of how too much of a good thing can be bad.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Sleep is an important part of your daily routine—you spend about one-third of your time doing it. Quality sleep – and getting enough of it at the right times -- is as essential to survival as food and water. Without sleep you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.”
Many will agree that people who are able to successfully complete marathons and perform well in other types of physical activity challenges are exceptionally fit. But a person who is fit may not necessarily be healthy. Take, for example, the story of Jim Fixx, a famous running enthusiast, marathoner and author of The Complete Book of Running (1977). In 1984, Fixx ironically died of a heart attack “while trotting along a country road in Vermont,” according to this recent report. He was only 52-years-old.
Be honest. Do you really understand those heart rate charts attached to the treadmills, elliptical trainers and stair climbers at the gym, or the cardio workouts these machines automatically program for you when you enter your age and weight? What about all the different heart rate zones and targets that you can program into your smartwatch or smartphone apps? More importantly, do you know how to use this information to get and keep your heart as healthy as you can? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably a resounding “no.”
I recently read a sobering statistic. Nearly 50 percent of boomers are prediabetic. This means that we have blood sugar levels that are above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with full-blown type 2 diabetes.
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