"For each of us there is some mission in life if we but find it. All have some definite thing to do, something for which they have been created; and only the doing of this thing will justify their existence here on earth. If we come into the world and occupy space and time without giving back for this privilege, we have not justified ourselves, and our lives in the end are barren." ~ Hay

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why Exercise?

How many times do we hear how important it is to exercise.  We have heard those words for our entire lives.  The mainstream news tells us that exercising will benefit our heart by getting our heart rate up and that we should get some form of daily physical exercise.  Then why is it when I look around, I see three out of four Americans overweight?  Why the big disconnect?  It’s because humans tend to be on the lazy side.  That is why it is easier to sit with a bowl of ice cream and watch television after work rather than take a walk.  I have spoken at length why it is so important to eat healthy nutrient dense non-genetically modified foods and how it contributes to a healthy mind, body and soul.  What I want to point out in this blog writing is that without a normal amount of physical exercise maintaining health is absolutely impossible.  What does exercise provide that is crucial for maintaining health in the body?  I can sum it up in one word…..OXYGEN! 

I want you to think of oxygen as a food just like you would of fruits and vegetables.  According to MacFadden, “Everything that enters into the composition of a healthy body is a food, and as oxygen is the chief element in giving life and strength to the blood stream, its importance as a food cannot be over-estimated.”  When you exercise, the body demands an increased amount of oxygen and thus forces the inhalation of greater quantities of air.  This oxygen is carried through the entire body and increases the work of the red blood cells.  These cells carry oxygen to the body cells and carbon dioxide to the lungs to be excreted.  What happens if you don’t exercise?   Your system will stagnate, your blood will fill with impurities and there will be an accumulation of dead cells and other waste material.  The more muscles we use, the more we speed up both respiration and circulation of the blood. If we exercise strenuous enough and for a long enough period of time, the pores of our skin will open and we will eliminate toxic material by sweat.  Doesn’t that last sentence make you want to get up and dance?



video

(**I am sharing with you a video of a PRACTICE  session of The Blue Spruce Cloggers, of which I am a member. http://www.bluesprucecloggers.com/  The dancers’ ages are 46-68.  This is only half of our group.  We just learned this routine and are working on perfecting it so it can be performed in our fall shows.)
 Exercise should be fun and enjoyable.  I’m sure you can find something that you enjoy spending your time doing.  You don’t have to overdo it either.  You never want to exercise to the point of exhaustion.  If you feel fatigued, it is time to stop.   Our body knows when to quit running that marathon.  When our stomach growls, we know it is time to eat.  When we get the sensation of thirst, we know it is time to drink.  When we get the feeling of fatigue while exercising, it is time to stop and rest.  Aaaahhhh….Doesn’t it feel good after a nice workout to take a shower and relax.  Don’t you feel much better than sitting in front of the television with that bowl of ice cream?

REFERENCES
Macfadden, Bernarr, “Macfadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture,” New York: MacFadden Publication, Inc. 1928

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