Get up, get on up
- Worldwide, 1 out of every 5 adults is physically inactive
- Physical inactivity leads to premature mortality, accounting for 5.3 million deaths worldwide in 2008
- Regular physical activity and higher cardiorespiratory fitness decrease overall mortality in a dose-response fashion
- Benefits of regular exercise: WEIGHT LOSS (!), reduces risk of all-cause mortality, protects against breast, intestinal, prostate, endometrial, and pancreatic cancer, protects against osteoporosis, helps with smoking cessation, decreases gallstone pain, reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive decline, reduces stress, anxiety, and depression (adapted from uptodate.com)
- I wholeheartedly support Exercise is Medicine®: A Global Health Initiative. Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) that is committed to the belief that physical activity is integral in the prevention and treatments of diseases and should be regularly assessed and “treated” as part of all healthcare. Check out the Kaiser Permanente initiative: exercise as the 5th vital sign.
DO IT TILL YOU SWEAT.
30minutes, at LEAST 5x per week (150min/week) burning at least 400cal per session.
- 30min workout:
10 minutes of brisk walking (4-5 MPH)
10 minutes of jogging/running (6-7 MPH)
10 minutes of weights and floor exercises (emphasis on your core!)
- 30-60 minutes of yoga (dealer's choice! but I prefer Vinyasa)
YOGA will fix you.
- Yoga, and specifically the Sun Salutation practice, is an intervention for weight loss, maintenance, and prevention of obesity
- Regular yoga practice decreased oxidative stress and improved antioxidant levels in the body (Serum levels of nitric oxide, F2-isoprostane, and lipid peroxide were significantly decreased by yoga practice, whereas serum total glutathione (GSH) contents, activities of GSH-peroxidase, and GSH-s-transferase were remarkably increased after yoga practice)
- De-stress! Yoga practice significantly reduced the plasma levels of adrenalin and increased plasma levels of serotonin
- Yoga practice significantly increased immune-related cytokines, such as interleukin-12, and interferon-γ, in serum, improving immune function
- check out this yoga primer from the New York Times "Ten Yoga Poses You Need to Know" to get started!
vis medicatrix natural = nature heals
"What then do I mean tonight by the healing power of nature? I mean to refer to the way in which Nature ministers to our minds, all more or less diseased by the rush and racket of civilization, and helps to steady and enrich our lives. My first point is that there are deeply-rooted, old established, far-reaching relations between Man and Nature which we cannot ignore without loss... there would be less "psychopathology of everyday life" if we kept up our acquaintance... we have put ourselves beyond a very potent vis medicatrix if we cease to be able to wonder at the at the grandeur of the star-strewn sky, the mystery of the mountains, the sea eternally new, the way of the eagle in the air, the meanest flower that blows, the look in a dog's eye."
A few key points about why getting outside is essential
- Nature is a stress buffer: 20 minutes of contemplation in a forest setting (vs. urban control) alters cerebral blood flow in a manner indicative of a state of relaxation
- "Shinrin-yoku" (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): Exposure to a forest boosts immunity (increases natural killer (NK) cell activity and immunoglobulin A, G, and M levels, promotes lower concentration of stress hormones (cortisol), lowers pulse rate, lowers blood pressure, increases parasympathetic nervous system activity and lowers sympathetic nervous system activity (all compared with city environments)
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors: enjoying the outside activity more, scoring higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue on psychological tests.
- How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain: Getting out into natural environments could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers