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Seven steps to healthy living – Part 4

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Senior Man in Exercise Room — Image by © Fabio Cardoso/Corbis

Step no. 4 Exercise
To avoid the effects of the sedentary lifestyle and to live a disease-free life, it is important that everybody engages in exercises to one degree or the other. These exercises as some think are not the strenuous ones that sport men and women engage in. The recommended exercises for maintaining a vibrant life and general wellbeing are referred to as aerobics.

Brisk walking for 30 minutes each day, three to four days a week is just all that is required of you. However, if you are doing this for the first time, you want to start with five to ten minutes walk and gradually increase the duration every week. Cycling, swimming and jogging are other forms of exercise that you can do. The object of these exercises is to increase the rates of breathing, blood circulation and sweating.

Exercises cause a shaking of the body leading to movements within and without the cells and faster circulation of blood with a reversal of stagnation and all its secondary effects. They also strengthen the heart and reduce the pumping pressure of the heart.
Let us now look at the benefits of exercise to the body.

Neutralise of acidity
With exercise there is increased flow of blood in the vessels and of water in and out of the cells. Toxic acidic wastes from the cells get eliminated faster. There is no longer accumulation of waste products, which usually renders the tissues acidic. In other words, exercising helps to make the tissues alkaline. As one exercise, there is increased rate of breathing and together with increased blood circulation (increased heart beat), more oxygen gets to the cells and carbon dioxide is eliminated from the body faster. Carbon dioxide is acid forming while oxygen is alkaline forming. Exercise is therefore highly recommended for people with degenerative diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, cancer etc.

Reduction of blood pressure
Exercise helps to build up the muscles of the heart making the heart to pump more blood with less effort and efficiently too. The heart gets conditioned and it gets to rest more often. All these will eventually lower the blood pressure. Whenever there is need for more work to be done the rise in blood pressure will not translate into hypertension because the resting pressure is always on the low side.

Exercising the muscles of the body more leads to opening up of capillaries shut down because of dehydration and formation of even new capillaries in other to supply more nutrients and oxygen to the growing muscle bulk. Opening up of capillaries that had been shut and the formation of new ones will further reduce the pumping pressure of the heart. Exercising can also cause the formation and growth of bypass vessels around plugged arteries in the heart and brain preventing coronary artery disease and stroke respectively.

Exercise helps to stabilise blood sugar level in diabetics
As the muscles of the body do more work they will require more glucose for the production of more energy. Exercise will therefore ensure that glucose is used up and does not accumulate in the blood. There is also improved sensitivity of insulin working effectively to transfer glucose from the blood into the cells.

Exercise increases lymphatic flow
The lymphatic system is made up of very tiny vessels, which run side by side with small arteries and veins. In these vessels is the lymphatic fluid that empty into lymph nodes regionally located to serve different sections of the body. Microorganisms, toxic acidic wastes and certain chemicals are picked up by the lymphatic fluids and deposited in the lymph nodes. White blood cells destroy the bacteria in the lymph nodes before they are emptied into the blood circulation for eventual elimination from the body.

The lymphatic system unlike the circulatory system does not have a pump (heart) to drive the fluid along. It therefore depends on the contraction and relaxation of the muscles to move the fluid along the lymphatic vessels. Exercise, which increases the contraction of the muscles, ensures increased performance of the lymphatic system.

Exercise increases sweating
There are millions of sweat glands in the skin and by sweating the body gets rid of certain toxic wastes. Increased exercise, which also comes with increased sweating, leads to increased elimination of wastes from the body. Together with the lymphatic system, sweating is one of the ways that the body is detoxified and rendered alkaline.

Exercise prevents obesity and its complications
As I have already stated, exercise makes an acidic environment alkaline. With a reduction in the level acidity therefore, the body will no longer need those excess fatty tissues. These will either melt away or be burnt up while exercising. Either way, obesity and its complications are dealt with.

Exercise can prevent cancer
Cancer cells thrive in acidic and anaerobic conditions. Lack of water in the body is also a contributory factor for the growth of cancer cells. Drinking adequate amounts of water and exercising more will reverse such conditions that allow cancer cells to flourish. Conditions that ensure destruction of cancer cells include an alkaline environment with a high oxygen tension which exercise provides and proper hydration of the body.
Go on exercising, shake up your body waters and live a vibrant and healthy life.


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