We need to move. Movement in the form of exercise can mean many different things to many different people. Exercise is a fantastic way to improve health, improve mobility, improve our mood, and improve bone density. Exercise slows the aging of bones and muscles. Exercise lowers stress and anxiety and is very effective for lowering blood pressure in addition to watching what you eat. In fact, most current analysis shows that exercise is just as effective as medication for lowing blood pressure. Our bodies were designed to move and move well. Our ancestors were very mobile and active. They tended to land, farms and crops. Before cars, there were horses (anyone who has gone horse back riding knows that is a workout!) Things have changed, but that doesn’t mean we should succumb to laziness and immobility. Obviously many people incorporate exercise into their lifestyle in order to lose or maintain a certain weight and that is great, but it has many other benefits!
Once we reach adulthood, muscle cells stop dividing. As we age, both the number and function of mitochondrial cells change. Holly Haze reflects, “Remember last week when I was talking about the benefits of intermittent fasting and autophagy? Well, another issue is that muscles of older people have a much lower rate of autophagy. Autophagy is crucial, which is why many people benefit from fasting. It forces the body to recycle damaged proteins, organelles and other debris and uses it for other functions.” Age related autophagy can be reversed simply with exercise.
In September, the ladies of the radio station and our sister stations got together for a talk about working out and fitness. Holly explains, “When the ladies got together, we realized that we need to start at the basics. Fitness to me incorporates not only working out, but nutrition. After all, weight loss is about calories in versus calories out. You cannot do one without the other, not with healthy, positive results. Carrying extra weight is detrimental in so many ways, but most aches and pains will be reduced immensely if you lighten the excess load on your bones. I have had joint issues my entire life due to degenerative arthritis(diagnosed in junior high). Trust me when I say, your weight matters. I am at my leanest in my entire life and it has made all the difference in my pain.”
Doing some form of exercise can mean different things for different people. The important goal is to get moving. Holly says, “You don’t have to run marathons, you can walk. You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer, you can just do laps at your leisure. You don’t even have to join a gym. I will say though, getting a very light set of weights, anywhere between five and 20 pounds, is not only ideal, it is essential for women’s bone health. As we age, osteoporosis becomes a real issue because our bone density is at risk. Moving small amounts of weight like this is important. Women tend to shy away from this kind of work out in fear of bulking up. Unless you are training to be in some kind of fitness competition, that is not going to happen!”
Let’s talk menopause, ladies!! Exercise even helps with symptoms related to menopause. It has been shown to relieve hot flashes. Hot flashes can be reduced by almost 44% because the body’s core temperature regulates better with consistent exercise. Holly explains , “This totally makes sense (I TOLD you our bodies are smart)…because of this effect on basal core temperature, exercise improves blood flow and improves sweating capacity.”
In some sense, exercise is the fountain of youth. Holly says, “Don’t overthink it, just find something you enjoy and go for it. I have been sidelined with multiple knee surgeries (8!!), so I totally get being discouraged, but there isn’t a day that I don’t do some kind of workout. Just put the phone down and get it done!”