You know, the older we get, the more we convince ourselves that it’s tougher to get out and “do”. It’s pretty easy to let a sedentary lifestyle slowly creep in – especially if you work a desk job. It can take a lot out of you. But, there’s more than just one way to get your body moving. And how much exercise you need to be healthy is actually not as much as think…
I was talking with a good friend the other day. She’s in her late forties. She tries to dance at least twice a week. She said, “Remember when we were in our twenties and we could exercise for a really long time, but we’d leave the gym and feel just as good as we did when we walked in? Now, I have to exercise just to feel good. I find if I don’t move, I don’t know… my body starts to ache. And I’m just not as… perky. But I don’t have the energy to exercise”
I couldn’t have agreed with her more. But…
You don’t have to beat yourself up at the gym to get in your weekly exercise.
(Click here to see the video blog for more information).
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
As we age, our idea of “working out” might need to change a little bit. If you think you’ve got to “go hard” at the gym, you might end up not going at all.
But there’s a magic word in the field of medicine that translates roughly to, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And it’s the reason exercise is so important in the first place. When it comes to exercise, the limited stress you can put on your body can help do just that – make you stronger.
How Does Exercise Help?
This word is hormesis.
Basically, it’s an adaptive response of cells and organisms to a moderate (usually intermittent) stress increase their production of restorative proteins like growth factors, antioxidant enzymes, and protein chaperones.1
In other words, the stress of exercise – even in small amounts – can help you build muscle, stay stronger, and keep healthy.
Now, one of the best ways to induce this kind of ‘good’ stress is to simply walk. Walking is one of the easiest ways to burn calories – and it’s low impact, too.
In fact, just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can help you burn up to 150 calories. That means you could burn 3500 calories a week – and that’s about a pound of fat. Walkers and hikers also tend to live longer.
Another great tip I like to give people is…
Get. A. Dog.
It’s not just because I’m a dog lover (although I am – we’ve got 4 dogs at home). It’s also because dogs need to be exercised. Not only will a dog get you out of the house at least twice a day because it can’t walk himself, but he’ll distract you with a game of ball or tug-o-war. Every little bit of movement counts.
Home Sweet Gym
And, if you’re not a dog person, you can still exercise in your home. In fact, you don’t need weights or a stair-climber. Use what you’ve got! Start by walking your stairs an extra two or three times a day. Use the back of a chair for balance and practice squats or lunges. There are all sorts of ways you can eek a little more movement into your day. Click HERE for 5 easy energy boosting exercises.
Rebound Your Health
Another idea is invest roughly $30 for a mini trampoline. Try it out for 5 minutes a day. Not only will it boost your metabolism, but you can’t help but feel like a kid on it. Pretty soon, you’ll be giggling—which is also amazing for your health.
Just remember – if your balance isn’t good, put the trampoline near a wall, counter, or sturdy chair, so you have something to grab onto for balance.
For more health and exercise tips from Dr. Gundry, keep reading: