Exercise is one of the best medicines on the planet! Therefore, please exercise every day.
Move your body, rain or shine inside or outside. Just move!
And if you don't like the word exercise--if that sounds like work-- then substitute the word “movement” or (better) “PLAY” because that's really what I'm after.
Move/play every day. Stretch in short bursts frequently throughout the day. Like your dog, or cat. Have you ever seen an animal stretch for an hour? No; animals stretch in short bursts throughout the day!
Walk, jog, bike, hike…
Swing across the monkey bars with the kids…
Jump around in “old man parkour”. (Meaning, instead of doing a flip over the picnic table, you merely roll over it gently; instead of trying to run up a tree, you just put your foot up against the tree.) If nothing else, this will make you--and maybe your walking partner—laugh! Laughter also happens to be great medicine.
Swim, turn cartwheels, climb trees, dance….
Let's talk about swimming for just a moment because that happens to be the best form of exercise if everything about you hurts. Swimming provides low impact for a gentle, full body workout. If you are currently in a wheelchair, or if it is so difficult for you to move because of deformity secondary to disease like rheumatoid arthritis, or the sheer pain of any kind of chronic pain syndrome or osteoarthritis has you down, or if you are morbidly obese with great difficulty moving your body because you're carrying so much weight, then swimming is going to be your best bet for exercise. You may need to have help to get you from your vehicle into the pool. Please call around your local area, because there are medical pools staffed with trained professionals to help you.
“Start low, go slow”. I do recognize that this is grammatically incorrect, but it is easy to remember!
As you move your body you're going to be building up strength, stability and stamina.
Strength, by strengthening your muscles and your bones. (That one’s obvious.)
You're also going to be strengthening your lung tissue because you're going to be breathing more deeply.
Because you're breathing more deeply, your blood is being pumped around faster, strengthening your heart.
Your vessels are getting exercise! You're strengthening your circulatory system.
Because you're strengthening your circulatory system, your lymphatic system is being moved and starts taking out the trash better.
You see where I'm going with this? Your liver, your kidneys, your lungs, your heart; your muscles, your bones, even your emotions (?!?)… Everything about you will become better, stronger.
You'll also be increasing your stability. If you're concerned about falling and damaging yourself, as you move and strengthen your muscles, you're also strengthening the receptors that live inside your muscles that tell your brain where your body is in space. That means you're at less risk for falling and damaging yourself. And, like your emotional body becomes stronger with movement, your emotions also become more stable.
You'll also be building up stamina. If it's difficult for you to walk across your front yard to get to your mailbox right now, as you increase your movement, you'll find that it becomes easier to walk across your front yard to get to the mailbox. You’ll be able to go across the street, or walk down the block—so much freedom when you move your body!
“Make it fun, so it gets done”. This one is grammatically correct.
Exercise, moving your body, is always more fun when it’s an activity you ENJOY! Often, it's more fun when you've got a friend participating with you. And with a friend, you tend to have an accountability partner.
Think about it: when your alarm goes off, and it's time for you to get up and go move, but you're going to do that by yourself…. It's so much easier to just let yourself down, isn’t it?
You're going to have more self-responsibility and accountability when you've got a buddy waiting for you for that walk/swim/parkour.
Speaking of buddies and accountability…
Are you ready to work with me? Is your chronic disease a big enough problem for you that you’d just as soon be rid of it? Let’s talk! Send me an email... DrFleetwood@MonarchNaturalMedicine.net (Monarch butterfly; butterfly net.) And see if you can move fast enough to catch a butterfly (and release)!