Last week, Dr. Fine spoke about the key role that diet plays in our good health. We continue with the series this week and in part 2 of How To Stay Out Of The Doctor’s Office, Dr. Fine stresses on the importance of exercising to maintain good physical and mental health. Read below for Dr. Fine’s insights and recommendations on exercising for good health.
According to Dr. Fine, exercise is something that is independent of weight and diet and is something that can improve both your quality of life as well as your quantity of life. Exercising is beneficial for maintaining not only good physical health but most importantly, also for your brain health. Research studies have shown that even ten minutes of fast walking per day, or every other day can improve blood flow to your brain. With time, this can help offset Alzheimer’s and delay cognitive memory loss. Another important benefit to exercising is that endorphins get released with just a little bit of heart rate elevation. By exercising, you actually get these good chemicals released, which in turn gives you good energy.
Lots of people think that they don’t have the time because of other time commitments and busy schedules. Dr. Fine points out that your productivity will actually increase if you take a short break after a few hours of working, and take the time out to exercise. This can be something simple like a fast walk outside or if its cold, walking up and down the stairs. What is key is to do something to get your heart rate elevated.
Optimally, thirty minutes of exercise, five times a week, would be great. But, if that is not a realistic expectation for you, even a little bit helps. Even ten minutes can make a huge difference. Dr. Fine advises that you should warm up first so that you don’t pull a muscle. After about five minutes, you want to get to the point where you are exercising so hard that you can’t talk because you are breathing so hard. This also means that your heart rate is high. You want to do that for as long as you can tolerate, take a break and then get back into it again. This is called interval or high intensity training and Dr. Fine points out that it is better for you than a slow walk or jog. This type of exercise also has benefits for your blood pressure and other projected health measures.
Dr. Fine recommends that you exercise by doing whatever you enjoy. If you like the social aspect of it – you can get involved in a team sport like soccer, volleyball, tennis or bike riding. If you are pressed for time and need something that is more individual based, the stair-master, treadmill, and rowing machine are all great forms of aerobic exercise. Some people put a treadmill in front of the TV so that they can multitask. Others use fitness apps to help keep them on track with their exercise goals.
But, however it fits into your lifestyle, Dr.Fine stresses that it is important to make the time to exercise. This pays great rewards towards improving and maintaining your mental and physical health. Aerobic exercise, where your heart rate increases and you are breathing hard is the best way to exercise, even if it hurts while you are doing it.
Minimal strength training is helpful for maintaining bone mass and preventing your muscles from weakening as you grow older. Exercise helps maintain your body’s structural integrity, which in turn, helps with balance and avoiding falls. Even as you age, you can be independent and have energy to be active. The other important benefit of exercising is that it contributes to maintaining heart and brain health, especially as you grow older.