Many of the recommendations for this list are taken straight out of our Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment book!
Exercise To Eliminate Disease and Inflammation
Treatment for ALL disease should start with drinking plenty of water and exercising daily. According to CBS News, 80-90% of adults and teens do not exercise. That is 8-9 out of every 10 people that do NOT exercise. No wonder health care costs are rising and disease is rampant in the United States.
The biggest problem we see as practitioners is that the advice we give our patients about diet and exercise is completely ignored, and patients just want to feel relief from the symptoms of the disease. A disease is your body’s way of telling you that you are doing something wrong (most likely following a Western diet and failing to exercise).
With that being said, stop relying on your doctor to cure your disease. And stop relying on medications to do the same! Your health is up to you and you alone. You can choose today to start eating better, exercising daily, and healing your body from the inside out.
If you're already someone who exercises, good for you! We want you to keep it up and make any changes if needed. If you don't already exercise, keep reading to find out exactly why you should.
13 Best Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is one of the biggest activities you can engage in to improve your life, from your mood to your sex drive. A dopamine hit will come across you and last throughout the day. Dopamine is responsible for increasing calmness, awareness, and your presence in life while decreasing anxiety, depression, anger, and more.
Some benefits of exercise include the following (thanks to the Mayo Clinic for a few of these suggestions!)
1. Controls and helps you lose weight: Exercise helps increase your metabolism and keeps it elevated so you're burning more calories throughout the day. It also increases muscle mass, which in turn burns more calories. This is usually the number one reason many people begin exercising, and it's a huge benefit!
2. Combats heart conditions such as heart disease and hypertension: Lack of exercise is one of the greatest causes of chronic disease, especially heart conditions, because this lack increases belly fat, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Do your heart a favor and get off the couch. It only takes a few minutes per day to ensure lasting health.
3. Improves your mood: Exercise changes the part of the brain that is responsible for stress and anxiety, and it also increases feel good endorphins to lift your mood. This is one of our favorite reasons to exercise, because we love staying positive and being happy. Who doesn't?
4. Boosts energy levels: It helps you increase energy and it reduces feelings of fatigue in nearly all people, even for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). If you're feeling tired, head outside for a walk around the block.
5. Promotes better sleep: Numerous studies have shown that the energy depleted during exercise can promote recuperation during sleep, and the increase in body temperature seen during exercise is also known to promote better sleep.
6. Puts the spark back into your sex life! By regularly exercising, you're increasing blood flow, promoting the growth of muscle, enhanching flexibility, and improving your sexual performance and pleasure.
7. Stabilizes insulin levels and prevents diabetes: We discussed this a bit already, but an increase in belly fat can put you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and death. By exercising, you're promoting weight loss (especially fat loss) and muscle gain, protecting you from diabetes.
8. Battles depression and anxiety: It makes you much more aware of your mental state! It's also been shown that exercise increases endorphins and has an effect on the part of your brain which handles changing emotions.
9. Benefits your muscles and bones: Exercise releases hormones that aid in muscle building, and it helps reduce their breakdown. In addition to this, high-impact exercises such as running help promote optimal bone density.
10. Improves memory and overall brain health: When you exercise, hormones are released which promote the growth of new, healthy brain cells. In addition to this, exercising increases your heart rate, which increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain.
11. Gives you glowing skin: Regular exercise naturally produces antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and protect the cells of your skin. Exercising also increases blood flow to your skin, which can help it heal more quickly.
12. Slows the aging process: This goes along with the one previous. Exercise helps produce natural antioxidants for your body, helping combat free radicals and oxidative damage throughout.
13. Fights chronic inflammation (including dry eyes!) Regular exercise promotes the release of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body which can wreak havoc due to their oxidative nature. Chronic inflammation can be greatly lessened by lacing up those tennis shoes regularly.
What a Sedentary Lifestyle Causes…
Now that we've covered all of the amazing benefits of exercise, I'm sure you want to know exactly how sitting on the couch is killing you! Lack of physical activity can cause a list of ailments and symptoms which increase your risk for developing disease.
Sedentary lifestyles cause an extreme dive opposite of those exercise enhancing benefits above. According to Men’s Health, some of the effects of inactivity include:
- Depression, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness, or even fatigue
- SIGNIFICANT increased risk of cancer
- Memory loss
- Increased blood sugar and risk for diabetes
- No more sex… Or at least a decreased sex drive :(
- Terrible sleep
- Increased back pain (especially lower back)
How Much to Exercise?
This depends on the shape that you are in, but we shoot for about 210 minutes of exercise per week (30 minutes per day). We know this sounds like a daunting task to some, but we are going to give you a complete action plan to get to 30 minutes per day.
We now do 45-60 minutes per day, six days per week. However, we didn't start here and we're not perfect every single week. We gradually worked our way up to this, and we blocked off time every morning to work out. If you don't already do this, I highly recommend blocking your calendar for the times you'll be working out each day. That way, you have less of an excuse not to do it!
Exercise Plan If You Are Currently NOT Exercising
How do you eat an elephant? It is a pretty big task that would be tough, but you do it ONE BITE AT A TIME!
- Week one is all about getting back into the routine or creating a routine
- Start waking up an hour earlier, hyper-hydrating, and going on a five minute brisk walk (or as long as you can)
- Do this daily (Pain permitting, and soreness is not pain. Walk through the soreness.)
- FIVE MINUTES PER DAY is all you need to get a habit started
- Week two through six is all about adding time
- Add five minutes per week.
- Week two = 10 minutes of brisk walking per day
- Week three = 15 minutes of brisk walking per day
- Week four = 20 minutes of brisk walking per day
- Week five = 25 minutes of brisk walking per day
- Week six = 30 minutes of brisk walking per day
- After week six, maintain this 30 minutes per day at the VERY LEAST
- If you can, continue adding five minutes per week until you get to 60 minutes per day
What we see with our patients that start doing this is that they can’t stop, and exercise becomes an addiction, but a good one. We have seen overweight, 50 year olds lose 100 pounds and walk a half marathon within one year of starting this.
Exercise Plan If You Are Currently Exercising
Keep up the good work. See how you stack up against 210 minutes per week, and try to get there if you are not already there. You are on the right path!
Also, now is the time to play around with different exercise routines. Instead of walking every single day, try the elliptical, take a yoga or barre class, or go for a bike ride. If you're already exercising with great intensity most days, we highly recommend trying out yoga or going for a hike. Balancing your exercise is key to avoid burnout.
Switching it up every now and then is a great way to ensure lasting health through exercise, and it's a sure fire way to avoid boredom.
Meet Beth (True Story)
Beth was a patient of ours who was always cheerful and full of life. Beth was about 210 pounds and 55 years old. She did not exercise or eat well. One night she fainted in her house. She was rushed to the hospital with a blood sugar of over 700 and on the verge of dying. Beth did survive and decided she was going to take matters into her own hands.
She completely changed her diet, eliminating all processed foods (breads, cereals, processed meats) and started an exercise program. In 90 days, she was able to lose 30 pounds and is feeling better than ever. We are so thrilled! She was a diabetic at the ER visit, but is now almost medication free!
This is the power of diet, hydration, and exercise.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
No doctor is going to heal you. We are trained in Western medicine which is mostly about symptom relief, not disease prevention. We (both Western medicine trained doctors) believe in a different approach to medicine, and it involves healing your body from the inside out with hydration, exercise, diet, and more.
We Want To Hear About It
Nothing fulfills us more than seeing patients succeed with a plan that we have set out for them. Please share your successes with any of our programs or products on our Facebook page and tag us if you can! Make sure to include pictures of your journey! Click here to head to our Facebook page (don’t forget to like us).
Also if you know anyone that can benefit from our products or program, a referral is one of the biggest compliments you can give us!
What exercise if your favorite? Let us know in the comments below how you stay motivated to exercise!