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By Eric Haggard, PT Sedona MediSpa & Wellness

Sedona Health

Eric Haggard

There are two cliché but accurate truisms that apply to the body as we get older (and some would argue the mind as well). Number One; “Use it or lose it” and Number Two; “Use it but don’t abuse it.”

Decline, to some degree, is inevitable, but the rate of decline and the quality of our lives in the process can be greatly influenced. Staying full of energy and as young as possible in body is a choice we either make through daily action . . . or not. Life’s demands conspire to put everything else in front of exercise. Unlike eating, most of us are not programmed to exercise.

There are great number of lifestyle related factors that impact how we feel and how we look such as the quality and quantity of our sleep, our nutrition, our mental attitude, stress release and our social network. On the physical fitness level the main parameters that need to be addressed on a regular basis include posture, balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Ideally, we should spend 30 min to 60 minutes of dedicated time every day working on at least some these aspects of our physical fitness. This means spending dedicated time stretching, standing tall, challenging our balance and doing appropriate strength training and cardio training.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 min total of moderate intensity aerobic activity and two strength training sessions a week. Doing higher intensity “interval training” can lower the total time you need to spend with aerobic activity.

While it is true that everything we do physically “counts” in terms of caloric expenditure, not all activity qualifies as quality exercise. “Working”, even physical labor, is not the same thing as “Working Out.” Working out is an activity you do specifically designed to improve your physical fitness.

If you want to have abundant energy and a sense of physical vitality, fitness needs to be a daily priority. It turns out that physical exercise is also one of the best ways of maintaining mental faculties as well. Preservation of structure is increasingly important as we get older, thus we need to walk that line between use and abuse with our exercise. Healthy exercise should nourish your body and your spirit. For any aspect of your physical nature, either you use it or you will surely lose it.

See Eric if you have any questions about maintaining or increasing your physical vitality.

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