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HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES

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Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition

ARTICLES


Exercise for Life
By: Ray Coffey

Satchelle Paige was a baseball player who pitched in the major leagues until he was almost 50 years old.

Paige explained his longevity by saying "I never run when I can walk, I never walk when I can sit, I never, never sit when I can lie down."

What we must recognize is that Paige was a professional athlete and very active. So when it wasn’t necessary to be active, he rested, and allowed his body to recover.

When we hear exaltations to exercise, they are usually accompanied by videos of well-proportioned young men or women doing extremely active workouts, or "aerobics." The implication is that you, too, can have such a physique. And, if you are so endowed naturally, and if you can exercise several hours per day, then perhaps you can look that way. But it’s not necessary for health.

First of all, "aerobics" simply means that you do enough work in a short enough time that your cells need more blood to supply oxygen to meet the increased work load enervation, and so you have to breath deeper and faster.

You can do so easily by just rising and lowering yourself rapidly from a chair for about 30 seconds.

Why is exercise so important if not to make us athletes? First of all, our blood’s circulation is dependent upon body movement. The heart pumps blood through the arteries, and into the lungs, but blood that is returned to the heart is moved solely by muscular activity. The veins have one-way valves along the way which prevents blood from flowing in the wrong direction, and the muscle contractions are what squeezes the blood along its path back to the heart. So without movement, circulation is hampered and the body, especially the extremities, suffer from lack of waste elimination because of this poor circulation.

The blood not only takes nutrition to the cells, it takes the oxygen along to utilize that nutrition through oxidation. When the process takes place there are "ashes" left over in this feeding process. These ashes, and other metabolic wastes, must be eliminated and this is accomplished by moving them in the blood and the lymph, back to the lungs and kidneys for removal from the body. All of this movement requires muscular activity.

Muscular activity is occurring continually in all living creatures. Breathing, digestion, heart beating, peristalsis, walking, talking, or even blinking the eyes are all examples of muscles at work.

Some people are too infirm, too diseased, or simply too aged for active type exercises. But any exercise such as walking, rocking a chair, knitting a sweater, taking a shower, or cleaning house is all worthwhile-- and making your circulation system work.

Another benefit of exercise is agility, and range-of -motion. In order to utilize muscles, they must be used. If you need to be able to turn your head to drive a car, then you must keep turning your head. If you need to tie your shoelaces, then you must continue bending at the waist. If you want to see well, you must continue to exercise your eyes by focusing at different distances. Muscles not used are muscles lost. It is not necessary to become inactive and stiff merely because of aging. Furthermore, recent studies prove strength, muscle tone, agility and range-of-motion, can be REGAINED and MAINTAINED as long as the muscles are used—even into the 80’s and 90’s. Muscle movement keeps us alive, mobile and agile. And it makes us feel better because it helps eliminate the toxic build-up of metabolic waste. (: - >)

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