Should I touch more on Nutrition? There are so many things I could say here about that topic. The need for less sugar and salt in our daily diet and the need for more Omega 3, Vitamin A, D3 and fiber to name a few… Maybe I’ll finish this particular series and then come back to talk more on food. Knowing what you’re eating and it’s not just about calories!!
So I will share about the dreaded, dirty word (for me)…. EXERCISE!! This is something that does not come easy for me, I have to force myself to do it, but when I do… I feel more alert and I sleep better! I may be thin but I am out of shape. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy!
So let’s begin…
Exercise. The body is made to move. In fact, without physical activity, some physiological processes fail to work at all, and others work less than optimally. For instance, the pumping action of the lymphatic system, which facilitates cellular nutrition and waste removal, is improved with physical movement.
There are 4 types of exercise that add a dimension to health and fitness:
a. Aerobic activity. This is any activity in which you sustain an elevated heart-rate and respiration for an extended period of time, typically over 20 minutes. The benefits of a cardiovascular workout include healthier heart and lungs, improved circulation, digestion, mood, energy, increased immune response and caloric burn.
b. Resistance training. Also known as strength or weight-training, many women now understand that lifting weights affects them differently than it does men. For women, their bodies will build more muscle but, unless they decide on a professional career in body building, will never achieve the mass men do. Even small changes in body composition will enhance daily metabolism, burning calories at a faster rate. `Pumping iron’ increases range of motion, muscle tone, maintains joint stability and increases muscle strength, bones, tendons and ligaments.
c. Flexibility or Stretching. As one of the most under-rated forms of exercise, stretching is your best friend, especially as we age. The benefits of increasing our flexibility include alleviating stress and muscle tension; facilitates muscle recovery as well as being a conducive cool-down that maintains and increases range of motion and mobility; improves posture and reduces pain; and enhances circulation and oxygen delivery to muscles.
d. Mind-body. Recently, this type of activity has been achieving popularity in the West. Mind-body exercises are those which require us to place our awareness in our body, posture, breathing and movements. Some examples include active forms like Tai-chi, certain types of yoga and Pilates; while restorative forms include yoga and meditation. When practicing mind-body exercises, expect to experience stress-reduction, improved circulation and energy flow, increased mindfulness and improvement in the benefits and performance in the other forms of exercise listed above. (Yoga also helps you prepare in childbirth, we all need to breath deeper!)