- Exercise fights cancer
- Green exercise improves exercise benefits
- Cancer prevention with diet and exercise
- Exercise creates balance, stops falls
- Burn belly fat with diet and exercise
- Qi gong: exercise for strength & meditation
- Get ready to exercise
- Exercise after-care
- Stopping exercise hurts your body
Re-braining a no-brainerWe all know that exercise makes you tired. Doesn't it? Sure, you feel tired immediately after vigorous exercise. That's the no-brainer part. But what about the post-tired time? And what if your exercise is light or moderate, not "vigorous?" What happens after your body finishes processing the demands you've put on it?
Energy in, more energy outNew research tells us that when you put X amount of energy into exercise, you get XX energy back in return. It's like exercise repays the energy you've put in—with interest. A 2008 study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that inactive people who felt chronically fatigued experienced:
- A 20 percent increase in energy
- Up to a 65 percent reduction in fatigue
What is "exercise?"First, let's get something straight. We never say "working out." Who likes "working?" I tell my patients to let their inner kid out—the kid who ran and jumped and tumbled for the sheer physical fun of it. That's not "working." It's playing. And all animals, including us, love doing it—because it's good for us! It's healthy! Definition? For our purposes, exercise is nothing more than moving more than you usually do. If you're active, be more active. Walk faster or farther than usual. That's exercise. If you're sedentary, exercise is getting off the couch, getting out of the office chair, and just walking—around the house, the block, the office—for as little as five minutes. While you're walking, I highly recommend doing something goofy. Wave your arms, beat your chest like Tarzan, break out some of those old dance moves (but not break dancing), or make like Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp. Be playful! It'll not only bring on a smile—which we all know is very good medicine. It will also work your upper body. Better than letting your arms just hang down there.
How exercise delivers the best return on investment everSo how does expending energy give you more energy? It seems counterintuitive—unless you know your cells. Your mitochondria, in particular. They're the specialized structures within your cells that turn nutrients into energy. When you call on them for the extra energy you need to exercise, they increase in number to meet the demand. So you're not "using up" energy, you're actually increasing your body's ability to provide it.
Get movingIf you're ready to put this news to good use by walking or jogging, here's what I recommend, after clearing it with your doctor, of course. Set aside a regular time to do it. Let nothing interfere—not shopping, not errands, nothing. With my tough-love doctor face on— this is a serious investment in the good health you deserve. If you can't commit and continue, just forget it. Wear comfortable shoes. Research shows that fancy, high-tech shoes are no better than comfortable walking shoes—and sometimes worse—when it comes to avoiding injury. Start slow, say, five minutes of walking, or light to moderate jogging, three days a week. Work your way up to 25 minutes a day, three days a week. Research shows that additional minutes beyond that won't give you additional benefits. Choose what you most enjoy. This is supremely important. It's "play time," remember? That means if walking and jogging aren’t for you, try yoga, Pilates, tai chi, qi gong, or water aerobics, anything that gets you moving more. Same dedicated time. Same slow start and steady build up to 25 minutes, three days a week. You won't believe what a difference getting moving will make.
- "Exercise for Energy: Workouts That Work."
- Puetz T, O'Connor P, and Dishman K. "Effects of Chronic Exercise on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue: A Quantitative Synthesis." Psychological Bulletin 132, no. 6 (2006): 866-76.
- Connealy L. "Get Ready to Exercise."
- "UGA kinesiology researchers find single bout of exercise boosts energy."