Energize Your Life

Fitness is about more than just looking good; it's about feeling good.

Learn about the ins and outs of your physical health here.

Fitness Overview

Exercise is not only important to strengthening your physical health, it also improves mood, sleep, sexual function, and brain cognitive ability. As you age, inactivity can lead to osteoporosis and decreased muscle mass. Proper exercise can improve your muscle tone and bone mass, lower your body fat and boost your energy.

A long-term investment in a little exercise each day can reap the benefits of increased productivity and happiness. Other benefits are prolonged life, reduced disease risk, increased fat metabolism, better memory, heightened libido, and improved athletic speed and performance. But you don’t have to train like an athlete, just be consistently active and do what is right for your body.

Exercise Definition

We can move our bodies in many ways. The dictionary definition of exercise is a bodily or mental exertion, especially for the sake of training or improvement of health. While exertion is important, simply standing up from your computer every 15 minutes is vitally important exercise.

The key is what type of exercise do you enjoy? If running on a treadmill bores your to death, then perhaps walking outside with a friend or swimming will keep you regular. Maybe stretching, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Core or strength training is your thing. Your age, current health, likings and abilities determine what is appropriate and will evolve over time. A guide could be a personal trainer, videos, books, or your doctor. Just keep moving.

Fitness Definition

Going back to the dictionary, “fitness in medicine” is the state if being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition. Two other definitions: 1) A state of mental and physical well-being and 2) the state of being suitably adapted to an environment notably do not mention exercise. Holistically speaking, exercise is as vital to health and wellbeing as nutrition, detoxification, communication, and environment.

How would you rate your fitness?

Sedentary Lifestyle

Who ever thought that sitting could be so dangerous to your health? You may have heard that sitting is the new smoking, in fact sitting is more dangerous than second hand smoke. New research has shown that prolonged sitting (like at a desk looking at a computer or on the couch watching TV) increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, a heart attack, and even cancer, even if you are physically fit! Consider these facts:

  • Chronic sitting has a mortality rate similar to smoking
  • The less you exercise, the more profound the damaging effects of sitting
  • Weight gain, changes in hormones, metabolic dysfunction, and inflammation as a result of prolonged sitting contributes to the increased rate of lung cancer, uterine cancer, and colon cancer
  • Anxiety and depression rises with the amount of time spent sitting

Impact of Too Little, Too Much, or Wrong Exercise

Everybody is different and reacts to exercise in a unique way. While we have reviewed the problems of sitting and lack of exercise, too much or the wrong exercise can wreak havoc on your health. Injuries such as muscle strain, painful joints, back pain, or stress fractures can keep you from further exercising.

Too little exercise and you won’t get much health benefit. Strenuous or over exercising can be bad for the heart. High intensity cardio can lead to heart enlargement and heart failure. You may need to cut back on your exercise and allow your body to recover if you have the following symptoms:

  • Exercise leaves you exhausted rather than feeling energized
  • You get sick easily, like a cold or virus
  • You feel down in the dumps
  • You have trouble sleeping or don’t wake up refreshed
  • You have “heavy” legs
  • You are short tempered
  • You are repeatedly sore for days
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What You Can Do

First avoid sitting as much as possible. At least stand up every 20 minutes and pay attention to your posture. Be more aware of your breathing and incorporate yoga sitting positions for stretching and healthier sitting.

Trade your sedentary time for something more active. Take a walk. Use stairs instead of taking the elevator. Use a fitness tracker and get in bed earlier. Get chiropractic adjustments, dance, enjoy aerobics classes and find someone to coach you along your road to fitness.

Aim for a well-rounded fitness program. Listen to your body and pay attention to signals of distress. Make sure you allow your body to sufficiently recover between exercise sessions. The key is moderation is terms of the intensity of your exercise, the duration, and the frequency. Don’t’ push too hard. If you have any medical concerns, get clearance from your health care professional.

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