Sunday, September 04, 2011

Cancer and Exercise!

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The New Natural Wonder Drug for Cancer
Posted by: Dr. Mercola
September 02 2011
http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2011/09/02/the-new-natural-wonder-drug-for-cancer.aspx?e_cid=20110902_DNL_art_3
A new report argues that all patients getting cancer treatment should be told to do two and a half hours of physical exercise every week. It states that advice to rest and take it easy after treatment is an outdated view.
Research has shown that exercise can reduce the risk of dying from cancer and minimize the side effects of treatment. Exercise is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment.
BBC News reports:
"Getting active, the report says, can help people overcome the effects of cancer and its treatments, such as fatigue and weight gain ... Previous research shows that exercising to the recommended levels can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurring by 40 percent. For prostate cancer the risk of dying from the disease is reduced by up to 30 percent. Bowel cancer patients' risk of dying from the disease can be cut by around 50 percent by doing around six hours of moderate physical activity a week."
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
The advice that cancer patients should rest and take it easy is clearly outdated given the myriad of research showing that regular physical activity can improve health by leaps and bounds, even while you're undergoing treatment. The new recommendation -- that cancer patients and cancer survivors should exercise at least 2.5 hours a week -- comes from a new report by Macmillan Cancer Support, which gives a comprehensive overview of exactly why exercise is so important.
As Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support and clinical oncologist, told BBC News:
"The advice that I would have previously given to one of my patients would have been to 'take it easy'. This has now changed significantly because of the recognition that if physical exercise were a drug, it would be hitting the headlines."
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, echoed these sentiments:
"Cancer patients would be shocked if they knew just how much of a benefit physical activity could have on their recovery and long term health … "
If You Have Cancer, Exercise is Helpful NOT Harmful
One of the greatest gifts that exercise offers is increasing your chances of beating the cancer. Harvard Medical School researchers found patients who exercise moderately -- 3-5 hours a week -- reduce their odds of dying from breast cancer by about half as compared to sedentary women. In fact, any amount of weekly exercise increased a patient's odds of surviving breast cancer. This benefit also remained constant regardless of whether women were diagnosed early on or after their cancer had spread.
Patients receiving the biggest boost from exercise were those most sensitive to estrogen, the most common form of breast cancer. (Previous research has shown exercise lowers estrogen levels, which can fuel the growth of breast cancer cells.)
If you're male, be aware that athletes have lower levels of circulating testosterone than non-athletes, and similar to the association between estrogen levels and breast cancer in women, testosterone is known to influence the development of prostate cancer in men.
Other research has shown:
Exercising moderately for six hours a week may reduce colorectal cancer mortality and disease recurrence by about 50 percent.
Three hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity may lower risk of prostate cancer mortality by about 30 percent, and lower the rate of disease progression by 57 percent.
Exercise Lessens Symptoms, Improve Quality of Life
Aside from helping you to survive cancer, exercise will also help to lessen your symptoms and generally improve how you feel, which means you'll be able to get back to your normal life more quickly. If you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy as a form of treatment, this can be particularly debilitating. You may want to look into some of the natural cancer treatments available, which do not cause the serious, sometimes deadly, side effects associated with conventional cancer treatment, but either way, exercise is essential. The report from Macmillan Cancer Support noted that exercise can help you to mitigate some of the common side effects of conventional cancer treatment, including:
Reduce fatigue and improve your energy levels Manage stress, anxiety, low mood or depression Improve bone health
Improve heart health (some chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy can cause heart problems later in life) Build muscle strength, relieve pain and improve range of movement Maintain a healthy weight
Sleep better Improve your appetite Prevent constipation
Want to Help Prevent Cancer? Exercise!
Exercise is a powerful anti-cancer strategy, and this is one of the reasons why I urge everyone reading this to get active, starting today. More than 200 population-based studies have linked exercise to your risk for cancer, including cancer of the breast, bowel, prostate, testes, endometrium and lung. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, which explored the relationship between exercise and cancer, exercise affects several biological functions that may influence your cancer risk. These effects include changes in:
Cardiovascular capacity - Energy balance
Pulmonary capacity - Immune function
Bowel motility - Antioxidant defense
Hormone levels - DNA repair
A 2009 study showed that men with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer. These findings suggest that muscle strength is just as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to offering protection against deadly tumors.
Cancer thrives on sugar, but regular exercise reduces your insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Controlling your insulin levels is one of the most powerful steps you can take to reduce your cancer risk and help keep it from returning.
How to Exercise to Best Prevent and Fight Disease
Many public health guidelines still focus primarily on the aerobic component of exercise, but this limited activity can lead to imbalances that may actually prevent optimal health. This is why it's so important to maintain a well-balanced fitness regimen, that includes not just aerobics, but also strength training, stretching, and most importantly, high-intensity interval training like Peak Fitness.
What's so great about Peak Fitness?
It's a potent "anti-aging" strategy, as it will naturally increase your body's production of human growth hormone (HGH). As you reach your 30s, you enter what's called "somatopause," when your levels of HGH begin to drop off quite dramatically. This is part of what drives your aging process. Your HGH levels decrease naturally as you age, but people in this age group also tend to fall into increasingly sedentary life styles, which further exacerbates the decrease.
Regardless of your age, incorporating Peak Fitness exercises can have a dramatic impact on your overall health by improving metabolism and boosting your levels of HGH.
And, as it turns out, this type of exercise is also the most time-efficient, because it can be done in a mere 20 minutes, two to three times a week. For more details, see my previous article Flood Your Body With This "Youth Hormone" in Just 20 Minutes, which includes an interview with fitness expert Phil Campbell who taught me these principles.
Special Considerations if You Have Cancer
If you have cancer or any other chronic disease, you will need to tailor your exercise routine to your individual scenario, taking into account your stamina and current health. Often, you will be able to take part in a regular exercise program -- one that involves a variety of exercises like strength training, core-building, stretching, aerobic and anaerobic -- with very little changes necessary.
However, you may find that you need to exercise at a lower intensity or for shorter durations at times. Always listen to your body and if you feel you need a break, take time to rest. Even exercising for a few minutes a day is better than not exercising at all, and you'll likely find that your stamina increases and you're able to complete more challenging workouts with each passing day.
In the event you are suffering from a very weakened immune system, you may want to exercise in your home instead of visiting a public gym. But remember that exercise will ultimately help to boost your immune system, so it's very important to continue with your program.
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Breast Cancer Risk May Decrease With Vigorous Exercise
By Jody Smith HERWriter September 1, 2011
http://www.empowher.com/breast-cancer/content/breast-cancer-risk-may-decrease-vigorous-exercise
Exercise provides a number of well-known health benefits. It may not be so well-known that women past menopause who exercise even moderately may decrease their breast cancer risk. Sciencedaily.com reported in an October 1, 2009 article on research that was recorded in the open access journal BMC Cancer.
Dr. Tricia M. Peters of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland led an international team researching any link between exercise and breast cancer. Results of their study saw a 16 percent difference between women who exercised moderately to vigorously more than seven hours a week, and women who did not.
This difference happened for women who had been exercising for the last ten years. No such difference was found for women who exercised when they were at a younger age.
According to Cancer.gov, research supports the idea that active women are less at risk than inactive women for breast cancer. In general, it seems that active premenopausal and postmenopausal women benefit from this reduced risk, and that exercise undertaken during adolescence especially cuts the risk.
Postmenopausal women who are physically active may also have a lower risk than inactive postmenopausal women. Cancer.gov reports that most research indicates that half an hour to an hour a day of moderate to vigorous exercise is linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer.
Exercise may hinder development of tumors due to lowered hormone levels. This may be especially true before menopause. Exercise lowers insulin levels and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and enhances immune response, as well as maintaining a proper weight. These factors may contribute to a reduced risk for breast cancer.
Postmenopausal African-American women who exercised vigorously for more than two hours a week had less risk by 64 percent than inactive African-American women. These were the findings from research out of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
This has extra significance due to the fact that African-American are more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than white women.
More African-American women also may develop triple-negative breast cancer which is the most aggressive form.
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Get moving: Cancer survivors urged to exercise
The Associated Press
Date: Tuesday Jun. 29, 2010
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20100629/cancer-survivors-100629/
WASHINGTON — Cancer survivors, better work up a sweat.
New guidelines are urging survivors to exercise more, even -- hard as it may sound -- those who haven't yet finished their treatment.
There's growing evidence that physical activity improves quality of life and eases some cancer-related fatigue. More, it can help fend off a serious decline in physical function that can last long after therapy is finished.
Consider: In one year, women who needed chemotherapy for their breast cancer can see a swapping of muscle for fat that's equivalent to 10 years of normal aging, says Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In other words, a 45-year-old may find herself with the fatter, weaker body type of a 55-year-old.
Scientists have long advised that being overweight and sedentary increases the risk for various cancers. Among the nation's nearly 12 million cancer survivors, there are hints -- although not yet proof -- that people who are more active may lower risk of a recurrence. And like everyone who ages, the longer cancer survivors live, the higher their risk for heart disease that exercise definitely fights.
The American College of Sports Medicine convened a panel of cancer and exercise specialists to evaluate the evidence. Guidelines issued this month advise cancer survivors to aim for the same amount of exercise as recommended for the average person: about 2 1/2 hours a week.
Patients still in treatment may not feel up to that much, the guidelines acknowledge, but should avoid inactivity on their good days.
"You don't have to be Lance Armstrong," stresses Dr. Julia Rowland of the National Cancer Institute, speaking from a survivorship meeting this month that highlighted exercise research. "Walk the dog, play a little golf."
But how much exercise is needed? And what kind? Innovative new studies are under way to start answering those questions, including:
Oregon Health and Science University is training prostate cancer survivors to exercise with their wives. The study will enroll 66 couples, comparing those given twice-a-week muscle-strengthening exercises with pairs who don't get active.
Researchers think exercising together may help both partners stick with it. They're also testing if the shared activity improves both physical functioning and eases the strain that cancer puts on the caregiver and the marriage.
"It has the potential to have not just physical benefits but emotional benefits, too," says lead researcher Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone.
Demark-Wahnefried led a recent study of 641 overweight breast cancer survivors that found at-home exercises with some muscle-strengthening, plus a better diet, could slow physical decline.
Duke University is recruiting 160 lung cancer patients to test if three-times-a-week aerobic exercise, strength training or both could improve their fitness after surgery. Lung cancer has long been thought beyond the reach of exercise benefits because it's so often diagnosed at late stages. But Duke's Dr. Lee Jones notes that thousands who are caught in time to remove the lung tumor do survive about five years, and he suspects that fitness -- measured by how well their bodies use oxygen — plays a role.
People with cancer usually get less active as symptoms or treatments make them feel lousy. Plus, certain therapies can weaken muscles, bones, even the heart. Not that long ago, doctors advised taking it easy.
Not anymore: Be as active as you're able, says Dr. Kathryn Schmitz of the University of Pennsylvania, lead author of the new guidelines.
"Absolutely it's as simple as getting up off the couch and walking," she says.
Exercise programs are beginning to target cancer survivors, like Livestrong at the YMCA, a partnership with cycling great and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's foundation. The American College of Sports Medicine now certifies fitness trainers who specialize in cancer survivors.
But anyone starting more vigorous activity for the first time or who has particular risks -- like the painful arm swelling called lymphedema that some breast cancer survivors experience -- may need more specialized exercise advice, Schmitz says. They should discuss physical therapy with their oncologist, she advises.
For example, Schmitz led a major study that found careful weight training can protect against lymphedema, reversing years of advice to coddle the at-risk arm. But the average fitness trainer doesn't know how to safely offer that special training, she cautions.
Mary Lou Galantino of Wilmington, Del., is a physical therapist who specializes in cancer care -- and kept exercising when her own breast cancer was diagnosed at Penn in 2003. Then 42, she says she was on the treadmill within 24 hours of each chemo session, to stay fit enough to care for her two preschoolers.
"You can feel more energy" with the right exercise, says Galantino, a physical therapy professor at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. "I was giving my body up to the surgeons and chemo, but I could take my body back through yoga and aerobic exercise."
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At Least Two Thirds of Breast Cancer Cases are Likely Avoidable
Posted By Dr. Mercola
April 13 2010
66,658 views
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/13/at-least-onethird-of-breast-cancer-cases-are-avoidable.aspx
Up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more, researchers at a breast cancer conference said.
Experts said the focus should shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. A woman's lifetime chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight. Obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women.
Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn spark breast cancer. Even in slim women, exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more of the body's fat into muscle.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
About 13 percent of U.S. women -- or one in eight -- will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. This is far too many, as at least one-third of these could likely be prevented using diet and lifestyle strategies, and, among obese women, losing weight would lower this cancer risk by nearly two-thirds.
Further, last year in the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases, or about 70,000 cases every year, could be prevented by making lifestyle changes.
It is my strong belief that these estimates are seriously low, and it is more likely that at least two-thirds - or even greater than 90 percent of breast cancers can be avoided by rigidly applying the recommendations I will review below.
As it stands, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women -- except for skin cancers -- and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
As there are now proven steps you can take to lower your risk, by taking these steps to heart, and also sharing them with your friends and family, we can hopefully make these statistics fall dramatically.
Is Breast Cancer Your Genes’ Fault?
Your risk of breast cancer is said to increase significantly if you have a family history of the disease, but according to statistics only about 20-30 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer actually have a family history.
And the truth is, you are NOT a captive to your genes.
The KEY to remember here is that it is NOT your genes that dictate your health but rather the expression of your genes. You have the ability to easily turn genes on and off with your lifestyle and emotional state.
One clear example is vitamin D, which literally regulates the expression of one out of every 10 of your genes.
For some of you reading this, this may be a weight lifted off your shoulders. If your mother or sister suffered from breast cancer, it does not mean that you are destined to have that same fate.
As proven through the massive genetic study, the Genome Project, each one of your genes can create up to 30,000 proteins, any and all of which can create a different outcome. So the fact that you may have a genetic “predisposition” for a certain illness does not mean that you are doomed to develop it.
Rather, there is something that either activates or suppresses your genes, and that “something” is usually lifestyle-related. If you are constantly stressed you will likely have a different genetic expression than if you focus your thoughts in a positive direction.
Likewise, if you eat healthy, fresh, whole foods you will have a different genetic expression than if you rely on sugar and fast foods.
Even women who have mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which is said to increase your risk of breast cancer to 80 percent, can make positive lifestyle changes that may lower their risk. For instance, omega-3 fats like those in krill oil have been found to influence these genes in a positive way.
Ultimately, what this means is you can make the choice to help your genes express themselves in a positive, disease-fighting way. So what are some of the first positive choices you should make?
Optimizing Your Vitamin D: Cancer Fighter #1
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body, is easily one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from your bones to your brain.
Your liver, kidney and other tissues can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. Your organs then use it to repair damage, including that from cancer cells.
Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis or cancer cell death. When JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, injected a potent form of vitamin D into human breast cancer cells, half of them shriveled up and died within days!
The vitamin D worked as well at killing cancer cells as the toxic breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, without any of the detrimental side effects and at a tiny fraction of the cost.
It is my impression that it is criminal malpractice not to recommend vitamin D and aggressively monitor a breast cancer patient’s vitamin D level to get it between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I am aware of and has no adverse effects.
According to one landmark study, some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased. And that’s just counting the death toll for two types of cancer (it actually works against at least 16 different types)!
So please do watch my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to find out what your optimal vitamin D levels should be … and how to get them there. This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from cancer.
Breast Cancer Prevention Musts
A healthy diet, regular physical exercise, appropriate sun exposure and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer.
But for breast cancer, specifically, you can take it a step further by also watching out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer.
So if you are a post menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. So if it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
Further, the following lifestyle strategies will help to further lower your risk:
Improve Your Insulin Receptor Sensivity. The best way to do this is make sure you have an optimized exercise program. Most of us need about five to eight hours of exercise every week to optimize our insulin receptors. Make sure you just don’t do cardio. You can get some ideas from reviewing my video on exercise.
Although I did not mention stretching and flexibility work, such as yoga, in the video, it is a very important part of your exercise program. It will not affect insulin receptors but it will help prevent you from getting injured and stopping your other exercise.
Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.
Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.
Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.
What about Safe Breast Cancer Screening?
Most physicians recommend mammograms to women as the go-to method of breast cancer screening. However, there is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the examination alone.
Meanwhile, as I’ve written about extensively in the past, the health hazards of mammography have been well established.
The option for breast screening that I most highly recommend is called thermography.
Thermography scans are absolutely painless. They involve no compression of tissue, are non-invasive, and emit no radiation.
Thermography uses an infrared camera to graphically illustrate skin temperature by way of a color image. On the image, degrees of heat appear as different colors. Standard diagnostic tests such as mammograms, x-rays, MRI’s, ultrasounds and CAT scans are designed to test your anatomy. By contrast, thermography tests for physiological change and metabolic processes.
You can find out more about thermography at my Thermography Diagnostics Center. http://naturalhealthcenter.mercola.com/services/thermography.aspx
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What Surprising Exercise Cuts Your Cancer Risk by 40 Percent?
Posted By Dr. Mercola
June 13 2009
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/13/What-Surprising-Exercise-Cuts-Your-Cancer-Risk-by-40-Percent.aspx
Men with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer, according to new research.
The findings suggest that muscular strength is as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to protecting your body against deadly tumors.
A team of experts tracked the lifestyles of over 8,500 men for more than two decades. Each volunteer had regular medical check ups that included tests of their muscular strength. The men who regularly worked out with weights and had the highest muscle strength were between 30 percent and 40 percent less likely to lose their life to a deadly tumor.
Even among volunteers who were overweight, regular weight training seemed to have a protective effect, although the researchers stressed that keeping a healthy weight was still crucial for avoiding premature death.
But they added, "In the light of these results, it is equally important to maintain healthy muscular strength levels.”
Researchers said it’s possible to reduce cancer mortality rates in men by promoting resistance training involving the major muscle groups at least two days a week.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
The results of this study -- that men who regularly work out with weights and have high muscle strength can reduce their risk of cancer by 30-40 percent -- should provide major motivation for any of you still on the fence about adding strength training to your exercise routine.
One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
It’s also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a well-rounded exercise program is an important component of staying healthy. When I say “well rounded” I mean a program that includes the four primary types of exercise, as explained in my Principles of Exercise video:
1. Aerobic
2. Interval
3. Strength
4. Core
Unfortunately, many public health guidelines are still focusing only on the aerobic component, and merely focusing on aerobic activity will most definitely lead to imbalances that will cause other parts of your body to not be healthy. You really need a well balanced exercise regimen.
It’s important to vary your exercise routine as otherwise your muscles simply get used to the same activity. They require a level of muscle confusion if they are to continue to improve and grow stronger. Further, each type of exercise has very different and very specific impacts on your body, and you’ll want to take advantage of all of them.
This topic is truly very near and dear to my heart, as I went to medical school in large part because I wanted to use exercise as a therapeutic tool to help people get healthier. I strongly believe that without fitness, it is virtually impossible to achieve optimal health.
The Benefits of Strength Training
As you age your muscle mass diminishes, and strength training is one of the best ways to replace the lean muscle mass that you’ve lost. If you don’t challenge your muscles in this way, the percentage of fat in your body will keep increasing while your muscle mass will keep decreasing.
So strength training is of utmost importance as you get older, but should ideally be done regularly throughout your life to both preserve and enhance your muscle mass.
Strength training also offers these additional benefits:
• Increases your bone density while lowering your risk of osteoporosis
• Lose weight (the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body burns calories)
• Protects your joints from injury
• Helps maintain flexibility and balance
• Improves your stamina and lessens fatigue
How to Use Strength Training for Optimal Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, a 1-set strength training routine is typically plenty to get the most out of your workout.
A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise confirmed that for the average person exercising by strength training, the number of repetitions (the number of times a muscle or group of muscles is used to lift a weight) is not of major importance; a single set of repetitions was found to be almost as effective in maintaining fitness as three sets.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) -- the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world -- and the U.S. Surgeon General have also been recommending a 1-set exercise program for some time.
So incorporating a simple 1-set, five- to 30-minute weight lifting routine into your regular program will definitely improve fitness, and is a practical, obtainable goal for most people. There are some key concepts to keep in mind, however, as not just any set of weight training will do.
You need to do enough repetitions to exhaust your muscles. The weight should be heavy enough that this can be done in fewer than 12 repetitions, yet light enough to do a minimum of four repetitions. It is also important NOT to exercise the same muscle groups every day. They need at least two days of rest to recover, repair and rebuild -- more is not better here.
Later this year I plan on introducing a comprehensive state of the art comprehensive personal training option that can easily guide you through this entire process.
How to Round Out Your Exercise Routine, and Why You Should
I highly recommend finding a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals, but if you cannot afford it or live in an area without access to one, you can still reap the benefits of exercise if you focus on varying your routine. So along with your strength training program, make sure you also incorporate the following into your exercise routine:
1. Aerobic: Jogging, using an elliptical machine, and walking fast are all examples of aerobic exercise. As you get your heart pumping, the amount of oxygen in your blood improves, and endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, increase.
Meanwhile, aerobic exercise activates your immune system, helps your heart pump blood more efficiently, and increases your stamina over time.
2. Interval (Anaerobic) Training: Research is showing that the BEST way to condition your heart and burn fat is NOT to jog or walk steadily for an hour. Instead, it’s to alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.
This type of exercise, known as interval training or burst type training, can dramatically improve your cardiovascular fitness and fat-burning capabilities.
For example, intermittent sprinting produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines, which allow more fat to be burned from under your skin within the exercising muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation increases weight loss. So, short bursts of activity done at a very high intensity can help you reach your optimal weight and level of fitness, in a shorter amount of time.
3. Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability.
Exercise programs like Pilates and yoga are great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.
Ready to Get Started?
More than half of U.S. adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise, and one out of four don’t exercise at all.
Why?
A lack of time is the most common reason given for not exercising.
To help avoid falling into this trap, you need to arrange your schedule around exercise. Plan it into your day the same way you would an important meeting and consider it non-negotiable, like mealtimes and sleep.
When you begin to view exercise as a necessary component to your health, rather than a luxury, it becomes easier to find time for it during even the busiest days. For you, the best time to exercise may be first thing in the morning. Others may find early afternoon to work best.
The important key to remember is that it doesn’t matter when you exercise (with the exception of exercising too close to bedtime, which can keep you awake), just that you make time for it most days of the week.
For more information on how to get the most benefits from exercise, including proper intensity and duration, read through this comprehensive article Exercise to Improve Your Body and Brain.
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Also See:
A World Without Cancer!
08 March 2011
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