You don’t want to miss out on joining in on the next beautiful hike on the nature trail with everyone on your next family vacation, because your body hurts and aches too much, do you?
You don’t want to miss out on taking in the gorgeous view of the cityscape because you’re not in shape enough to climb the staircases and the elevator is out-of-order, do you?
You don’t want to miss out on playing with your kids or your grandkids for as long as you’d like too, let alone as long as they would like you to, because you’re too stiff, too sore, too run down and too slow to keep up with them, do you?
Of course you don’t.
And if you have missed out on activities like these in the past, then you know how not taking care of your vehicle properly, can severely limit your enjoyment in life.
A simple, consistent exercise program will allow you to participate in all of these things and more.
You just gotta get moving.
Your body is designed to move. It’s designed to bend, to twist, to lift, to walk, to run…it’s designed to be USED!
Your body’s health depends on movement.
Every time you move and contract your muscles, it helps pump the fluids throughout your body. It helps your blood get pumped back to your heart through your veins. Your venous system is largely a passive system. Your arteries are what carry blood from your beating heart out to your body and your veins are the vessels that bring the blood back to your heart.
I’m sure you’ve heard of “varicose veins”. Varicose veins are those dark lines you see on people’s legs. In rare instances, they can be dangerous, but mostly they are just unsightly.
But they happen in people that are usually standing on their feet for long periods of time, without moving around much. Imagine a bank teller, or a grocery store checker or a teacher in front of a classroom standing for hours and hours at work.
The discoloration you see on the skin is actually burst blood vessels. If there isn’t enough muscle contraction in the form of movement to help pump the blood from the feet, back up to the heart, eventually, the veins give out, they burst, and you get varicose veins.
So every time you exercise, think of how you’re helping your heart and your veins.
Your Lymphatic fluid is also moved through your body with muscle contraction. The Lymphatic system is part of your Immune system. Lymph is a fluid in your body that contains lots of immune system cells that help fight bacteria and viruses and detoxify your body. But unlike the white blood cells that are moved around your body by the beating of your heart, these immune cells can only do their job if they are moved around your body through exercise, stretching or other forms of physical movement.
Your joints need movement as well to stay healthy. Your joints are filled with Synovial fluid, which protects and nourishes your cartilage. Your joints need to be moved to pump nutrients into the synovial fluid and to pump wastes out.
This is largely where arthritis comes from. Besides a traumatic injury or a genetic disorder, arthritis occurs when the joint isn’t able to move properly for long periods of time. Inflammation builds up, and starts to destroy the very cartilage the synovial fluid is designed to protect.
It’s a myth that if you use your joints too much you’ll get arthritis. It is true that if you use your joint improperly or if the joint is misaligned and it’s used that way too much, you can get arthritis. But don’t think that by not exercising and not using your joints, that you’re going to save yourself from arthritis. The opposite is actually true.
Your spinal discs and your spine also need movement for the same reason, because they have no direct blood supply either. So many areas of your body rely on this pumping mechanism for their health.
Think of it like squeezing a sponge that’s full of water. By squeezing the sponge in your hand, you push the water out. When you relax your hand and allow the sponge to expand, the sponge can absorb new water. This is how your body uses movement to get nutrients in and wastes out.
So you can see now how important moving your body and exercising regularly is – not just for loosing weight and building strong muscles, but for keeping your heart, your arteries and your veins healthy, for keeping your joints and cartilage and spine healthy, as well as keeping your immune system healthy.
*Adapted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.
Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health maladies. For more information, call 619-239-0053, email Info@BeingWellLifestyles.com or visit www.BeingWellLifestyles.com.