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Movement is Medicine: The Prescription for Beneficial Exercise
Posted By Katy Santiago Bowman On November 24, 2009 @ 4:04 pm In Fitness, Health & Wellness | 2 Comments
Why is it that we follow a doctor’s prescription to a “T” but then take additional advice like “no sugar” and “You need to exercise” with a shrug of the shoulders? If your exercise plan was written out for you on a tiny prescription pad, would you follow it? If you had to go to the pharmacy counter to get your grocery items, would it change the way you eat?
A few weeks ago, Dr. Ranit Mishori wrote an interesting article for Parade Magazine  that discussed his personal experience with patients not following his recommendation for exercise. I, of course, agree — kind of. If your doctor tells you to exercise, chances are research shows your ailment can improve with an increase in circulation, higher metabolism , lower body mass or reduction in stress . But “You need to exercise” is simply not a sufficient prescription.
What if you went to your doctor and were told to “Take some medicine”? OK, sure … but can you be a little more specific?
Of course, when it comes to pharmaceuticals, your doctor IS very specific when telling you what to take, how much to take and how often. Just as chemicals in your body have an effect on specific tissues, so do different exercise machines, movements and modes (types) of exercise. By now you understand that some medicines make you better and some can make you worse. This is exactly how movement works as well. And while it seems that any exercise would be beneficial, often times this is simply not the case.
Absolutely, every day. Multiple hours is optimal, although not practical for most. This is why we started to “exercise ” in the first place. Because we weren’t moving at all! In fact, now the term “exercise” has become synonymous with “fitness” (smaller, controlled bouts of movement at a higher intensity). Even though fitness  can have a short-term benefit of weight loss , some types of exercises (mostly gym-type activities with bouts of accelerated heart rates) have a fairly significant negative impact on the long-term health of joints and the long-term function of the adrenal glands.
Begin with the most important component to cardiovascular health, muscle strength  and immune-strengthening lymph removal — your muscle length. Your sarcomeres — those are the little units of muscle fiber tissue — are like Goldilocks. They only function optimally when they are just right — just the right length, that is! If you want to see dramatic improvements to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia , cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and type 2 diabete s, then stretch for 20-60 minutes every day! Follow up your stretching with a light, easy-going 15-minute walk, two to three times per day.
A note to patients: The time has come to take better responsibility for your own health. Taking a regimen of pills is not taking care of your body — it’s cleaning up the mess. Do better. Start today.
Some general guidelines:
1. You need to walk every day .
2. If it hurts to walk, then you need to stretch  the backs of your thighs, calves and feet every day until you can walk comfortably. Then see number one.
3. Your strength-to-weight ratio should be 1:1, meaning you should be able to:
A note to doctors: The time has come to take better responsibility for the advice you are giving. When you give casual suggestions for exercise, whether it be based on your own favorite activity or something you read in a magazine, understand that movement has a localized, instant impact on circulation  (blood and lymph) and bone density . Advise better. Start today.
Some general guidelines:
1. Anyone with back pain  or degenerative changes in the knees , hips and spine should be instructed to immediately stop any running, jogging or jumping! These activities will increase the rate at which the tissues degenerate and will lead to greater osteoarthritis, disk damage, etc.
2. Please explain that osteoarthritis  is not the auto-immune disorder arthritis  but a self-induced condition of inflammation in the joints, due to minimal joint space caused by tight musculature. No treadmills or ellipticals for anyone with osteoarthritis. The backward moving belt on a treadmill requires a hip-flexing gait pattern, increasing tension within the hip joint. Walking is good — it just needs to be on regular ground or in a mall.
3. Please explain that research shows consistent, lower intensity movements (walking, yoga , stretching classes) demonstrate greater long-term decreases in body fat than high-intensity and joint-damaging high-impact exercise sessions.
4. Refer responsibly. Most exercise is fad and fat-phobia driven. Find a local practitioner who offers the most research behind their program design, and book a session for yourself! Introduce yourself as a local physician and say that you are looking for a place to refer your patients for a health-based program. Most will be willing to give you a complimentary session!
All right everyone. Take two (laps) and call me in the morning!
View original post at Katysays.com . This excerpt republished with permission.
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/movement-is-medicine-the-prescription-for-beneficial-exercise/
URLs in this post:
 Parade Magazine: http://www.parade.com/health/2009/11/01-when-doctors-prescribe-exercise.html
 metabolism: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/GettingBurnedbyYourMetabolism.html
 reduction in stress: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Stress-Relief-Tips-from-Mayo-Clinic.html
 exercise: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/How-to-Stick-with-a-Fitness-Routine-5-ways-to-stay-motivated-to-exercise-regularly.html
 fitness: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/id/CAT00001
 weight loss: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/MBFWeightLoss.html
 muscle strength: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Why-Women-Need-Weight-Training.html
 fibromyalgia: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Navigating-Fibromyalgia-3-Best-Ways-to-Manage-the-Pain.html
 type 2 diabete: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/5-healthy-steps-to-reverse-type-2-diabetes-and-insulin-resistance/
 walk every day: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/learn-from-our-ancestors-walking-daily-improves-health/
 you need to stretch: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/SHAPE-4Minute-TimeCrunch-Stretch-Routine.html
 see a sample exercise in this older blog: http://katysays.com/2009/10/22/keeping-you-all-abreast/
 circulation: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/6-Ways-to-Boost-Circulation-for-Detoxing-and-Immunity.html
 bone density: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-Ways-to-Boost-Your-Workouts-BoneBuilding-Power.html
 back pain: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Mayo-Clinic-Back-Pain-Tips.html
 changes in the knees: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Best-Ways-to-Relieve-Prevent-Knee-Pain-5-Tips-from-a-Physical-Therapist.html
 osteoarthritis: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Mayo-Clinic-Osteoarthritis.html
 arthritis: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/ArthritisCausesandNondrugTreatments.html
 yoga: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Yoga-Answers-and-Solutions-Goto-Guide.html
 Katysays.com: http://www.katysays.com/2009/11/16/movement-is-medicine/
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