Spunky 101-Year-Old Woman Gives Advice on Living Healthy Life

June Brown

Last year I interviewed one of my friends and yoga students about her lifestyle. This spunky 101-year-old woman has been a blessing and an inspiration in my life and I can’t let her story go untold any longer. The advice she gives for living a healthy life is very simple and I hope you find it uplifting and inspiring.

In 2006 June started attending my chair yoga class at the local senior center where I volunteer. I was amazed then at her abilities and strength for an 87-year-old; however, what is crazy is that fourteen years later she hasn’t slowed down much and is still exercising daily.

June lives independently, cooks her meals, cleans her home, and does a little gardening. Her mind is sharp and she shows no sign of dementia. She carries on a conversation like someone half her age. 

The only complaint she has about her health is that her hearing is not as good as she’d like it to be. She does have arthritis and can’t crochet and knit as she would like, but she doesn’t complain. Both of her knees have been replaced and she had a hip replacement a few years back at the age of 98. AMAZING! There are not very many 98 years olds fit enough to go through a hip replacement at that age.

I asked June what medications she takes if any, and she replied saying she takes calcium and iron and a few other vitamins. I chuckled inside and got it out of her that the only pharmaceutical medication she takes is a thyroid pill, no blood pressure meds, arthritis pills, etc. AMAZING!

SHOULD LIVING TO BE A 101-YEAR-OLD BE OUR GOAL?

I must admit, I’m not sure I want to live to be 101 years old. There have been many days when I drop June off from yoga class and drive away with tears streaming down my face, tears because I am feeling that life just isn’t fair. How come this 100-year-old feels better than me?

You see, for someone a little over half her age, I do have health challenges and don’t feel so great most days despite my efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, I am still faced with the fact that yes, I do have to rely on some medications because my health is not perfect. This can be a little wearing on the soul.  

I don’t want you to think just because I’m posting about a wonderful 101-year-old, we SHOULD all strive to live this age. The point I want to make is that we should focus on the quality of our life, not how long we live. Not all of us are meant to live this long or are meant to have great health as June has been blessed with. (My amazing husband has to keep reminding me of this on those days when I am depressed and overwhelmed with my health challenges).

I am going to share with you some of June’s advice and I think its good stuff to know and apply whatever your age or health status.

If you don’t feel good or have perfect health at age 50 or 100, that doesn’t mean your defective or that something is wrong with you!

ADVICE FROM A 101-YEAR-OLD

1 -GET UP EARLY

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

June wakes up at 6:00 a.m. every day. Not saying you have to get up that early every day, but I will admit, when I get up early I do feel much better and my day goes much smoother. Here is a good article that gives 15 benefits of waking up early.

2 –EAT WHOLE FOODS, NOT JUNK FOOD.

June prepares her meals from whole foods. She very rarely eats out and doesn’t have a lot of snacks and processed foods in her house. She makes a lot of soups and freezes the leftovers for other meals. June makes a green smoothie several times a week and juices celery several times a week. (The juicing and smoothie making is something she has learned about and incorporated just the past 3 years). I love the fact that she is willing to try new things!

3 –CONSUME THE LARGEST MEAL AT LUNCHTIME

June eats her largest meal at lunchtime. She said if she eats a big meal at night, she has acid reflux issues. My grandparents were farmers, and they ate their big meal at lunchtime as well. There are some noted benefits that you can read about HERE.

4 –LIMIT TIME IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION

June does not watch a lot of television. She gets up early to watch her favorite religious program and does watch the news here and there, but that’s about it.

5 –LIMIT CELL PHONE AND GAMING TIME

June advises on having children and adults to not spend so much time using cell phones and game devices. We all know this can be problematic, right? BALANCE IS THE KEY.

6 –GET TOGETHER WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Spending quality time with friends or loved ones is good for the soul. June gets together with her children and grandchildren for dinner every Sunday and other special events. She advises this for others and finds an important part of healthy living. There are other noted health benefits.

7 –READ GOOD BOOKS

9 –DAILY MOVEMENT

June told me one day, “If you don’t move it, you lose it”. This is so true and it is one thing that inspires me about June. She still exercises every day! Before she even gets out of bed she does several exercises and stretches right there in her bed. Some of the exercises she does are listed here in this post and video tutorial.

June does 10-15 sit-ups every morning in her bed. Yep. I think to myself if a 101-year-old can do this, so can I. (Not that I do it every day, I do it more regularly). She is truly inspiring, right? Now I know some of us young folks can’t even do one sit up. The key is to work up to it. Once you can do something, KEEP DOING IT! 

I hope to be doing some of these things as long as I live. Like doing a cartwheel, I want to be able to do a cartwheel when I’m 90.

10-HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE

Having a good attitude is half the battle. Our thoughts are HUGE. There is a quote that I love and that I have written on my chalkboard in my kitchen.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Shakespeare

June has a good attitude and complains very little when I am around her.

Play Video

So there you have it, my friends. Some things for you to ponder and hopefully implement into your daily schedule if you can. Don’t do these things so you can live to bea 101-Year-Old, but do them to improve the quality of your life starting right now!

Don’t be overwhelmed and think just because a 101-year-old can do all these things that you have to do them too. We are all different and experience different things. Listen to your body, and be good to it.

With love,

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Move Your Body: The Benefits of Daily Movement

Daily movement of some kind is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. I have always thought that exercise was important, but the older I get the more I find this to be TRUE based on experience.

Now this doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or attend an aerobics class every day, I’m talking movement. The human body is designed to move, not stay still for hours at a time.

I’m not sure where I heard this, but I love the analogy. “Just as running water does not freeze, moving muscle and joints will not either!”

It is so true! I work with a lot of seniors and I have seen firsthand how simple movement can improve the way one feels physically and emotionally. Once you start moving every day, you are going to notice a big difference! On the days you skip, you’ll feel the tension and tightness start to creep in again.

I even advise people who experience arthritis, to not baby that joint, but to gently keep it moving. Movement will help improve and keep range of motion. The less we move, the more limited we will be.

What are the benefits of daily movement and exercise?

  • Improves your mood
  • Combats chronic diseases
  • Helps you manage your weight.
  • Strengthens your heart and lungs
  • Can put the spark back into your sex life
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Can be — gasp — fun!
  • Maintain optimal weight
  • Gives you energy
  • Better memory
  • Has been found to lower the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s

Unlike the blood circulatory system, which is pumped by the heart, the lymphatic system relies on the contraction of muscles to drain the lymphatic wastes back into the bloodstream via lymph nodes.

Exercise will help you stay well by helping your lymphatic system out. It doesn’t matter what form of exercise you do, all that matters is that you MOVE YOUR BODY and do it daily!

Studies show exercise to not only help us physically but it helps us maintain mental fitness as well. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which in turn cause us to have what is commonly known as a “natural high” or a “runners high”.

Psychological Benefits of movement

  • Helps with depression

“Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins; powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good”

  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Lowers stress

Are all types of exercise good for everyone?

Absolutely not! You have to find what works for you and what makes you feel good.

Years ago, after being diagnosed with a particular autoimmune condition and finding that running and aerobics were too harsh on my body system; I had to find another way to move my body. After trying my first yoga class, I was hooked and have been doing it ever since. It has helped me immensely on my path back to health and vitality. For me, I had to find a more gentle approach to move my body.

The Webster Dictionary defines ‘remedy’ as: a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease. I consider exercise to be just that, a “remedy”.

There are three types of exercise the body needs; Cardiovascular, Strength Training (Muscular Strength & Endurance), and Flexibility Training (stretching).

Cardiovascular Exercise involves continuous, rhythmic movements of large-muscle groups, such as:

  • Rebounding
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Biking
  • Aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Pickle ball (my new love)

Ideally, this needs to be done 3-5 days a week.

Strength Training, sometimes called weight training or resistance training decreases the risk of osteoporosis and maintains muscle mass and function. Alternate these exercises with your cardio workouts and make sure to get all muscle groups to keep your body balanced. 

Flexibility Training will help with the ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. Pain free, flexible joints are important to good health and lifestyle. Inactivity causes us to become stiff and inflexible. It is amazing how fast you can lose range of motion.

Stiffness leads to improper posture that can lead to muscle imbalance, which causes a lot of other problems. An example of a great flexibility program is yoga. 

I LOVE yoga!  Flexibility exercises can be done daily and should be done at least 2-3 days per week. If you stretch just once a week, you will never progress, but always feel like you are just catching up.

Listen to your body

Some days you may wake up and not feel like doing anything, let alone exercising. Maybe you feel achy, or you just don’t feel right. Those are the days you need to do something.  Maybe it will be just a little stretching, or a short walk, but move your body in some way.

The only time I can honestly say that I didn’t feel good after exercising was when I attended a vigorous yoga class at the onset of the flu. It was a little too much for my system, when I should have been resting. Other than that, I have ALWAYS felt great both physically and mentally after moving my body.

People of all ages and abilities, and sizes can exercise.

Some may feel that their health is too compromised to be able to do any kind of exercise. They may be thinking “I’m too fat”, “I’m not flexible enough”, “my body is too achy”, “I don’t have enough energy,” or “I have bad knees.” and on and on. I want you to know that we can all do something!  Even if you are in a wheelchair, and have a very limited ability to move, there are ways to adapt. Exercises can be modified and diluted to fit your needs at ANY AGE! My oldest student is almost 101 years old.

Adapt the exercise to fit your needs

I teach a class at the senior center in my community where I show them how to use a chair to support themselves while doing exercises and yoga poses. Despite their limitations, they can do amazing things. I have seen them improve dramatically both physically and mentally!

You can watch several of my live chair yoga classes on my YouTube station. Check them out HERE.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else 

Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to anyone else. We all have different bodies, different lifestyles, and different experiences. If you have limitations, it is easy to become frustrated, trust me I know. Do not get discouraged, accept where you are at and enjoy what you CAN do!

Each time you exercise you will feel different. One day you might have a lot of energy and on other days you may not. Adjust accordingly and do what feels good.

Choose a form of movement you enjoy!

  • Walking
  • AEROBICS
  • TREAD MILL
  • ROLLER BLADE
  • TAI CHI
  • SWIMMING
  • JOGGING
  • WATER AEROBICS
  • CYCLING
  • HIKING
  • KICK BOXING
  • MINI TRAMP (REBOUNDING)
  • TENNIS
  • YOGA
  • DANCING
  • POWER WALKING
  • RACQUETBALL
  • REBOUNDING
  • PICKLE BALL

Improve your health one healthy habit at a time!

Start today, CHOOSE to do something for yourself, no one can exercise for you. By exercising you will not only help yourself, but those you associate with and love will benefit, as you release stress, improve health and enjoy your life more fully!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Stretches in Bed – Start Your Day the YOGA Way

stretches in bed knees to chest

Getting out of bed some mornings can be a little challenging I know. Perhaps your body is stiff and you just want a few more minutes to rest your aching bones. Well, you go right ahead and stay there for just a few more minutes. Yep, stay there and do some morning stretches right in the comfort of your own bed.

I’m going to show you eight different exercises and stretches that will help alleviate some of that stiffness and get your blood flowing. You’ll be able to pop out of bed energized and ready for your day.

Feel free to do the exercises in whatever order you choose, however, I do recommend starting with a full-body stretch.

Play Video

Morning stretches in bed

Full body stretch

  • Kick off the covers and stretch your arms overhead. (You may need to scoot down in your bed to give you room). Reach down with your feet at the same time to feel your WHOLE body stretching. Take a few deep breaths

BENEFITS

  • Increases circulation and awareness of your body
  • Stretches your arms, back, neck, legs, and feet.

Knees to chest

This pose is also referred to as a wind-relieving pose or Energy freeing Pose. Yep, wind-relieving.

Believe me, I’m a yoga instructor and it’s not a complete yoga class unless someone “relieves some wind”.  It doesn’t always happen but frequently. No biggie!  We got to let go of that gas somehow. So if you do relieve some WIND, embrace it and count it as a good thing, especially first thing in the morning. Ok. Now on a more serious note.

  • Bring one knee at a time towards your chest. Take your arms around your legs and give yourself a big hug. (This may be your first and only hug, so make it a good one)!
  • Rounding the spine, bring your forehead towards your knees.
  • Rock side to side to massage out the back.

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the body
  • Eases Tension in the lower back
  • Easy to do
  • Massage the abdominal organs
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces bloating
  • Rebalances your energy
  • Reduce the hip fat
  • Relaxes the mind and body
  • The best pose to relieve gas

Spinal Twist

  • With your knees still drawn towards your chest, let both knees drop over to one side.
  • Take the arms straight out to the side, like the letter “T”.
  • Turn your head in the opposite direction of your knees.
  • Stay there for several deep breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side

BENEFITS

  • Stretches the IT band, glutes, lower back, abs, chest, shoulders, and neck
  • Improves spinal mobility
  • Relieves compression at the lower back
  • Relaxes the body and quiets the mind
  • Relieves stress

Feet to the sky, ankle circles

  • Lying on your back, lift your legs up so your feet are directly over your hips. Your knees can be bent.
  • Circle your ankles several times in one direction and then change directions.
  • Point and flex your feet a few times.

BENEFITS

  • Moves any stuck or stagnant fluids that have accumulated in the feet.
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Increases circulation and flexibility of ankles and feet
  • Soothing to the low back

Hip Circles

  • Lying on your back, bend both knees and place feet on the mattress.
  • Take one knee towards your chest and then pull your knee over to the opposite side. (It won’t go very far). You should feel a stretch in the outer side of the leg (IT band).
  • Now let the knee drop open away from the body. Move the knee back and forth a few times.
  • Starting with the knee towards the chest, allow the knee to drop out to the side and then slide your foot away from you, straightening the leg out.
  • Bring the knee up towards your chest, slightly rolling to that side, making a complete circle.
  • Do two circles on each side.

 

Sit-ups

My dear friend who just turned 100 years old this month, shared with me that she does 10-15 sit-ups every morning before getting out of bed. This amazing woman still lives alone, still cooks her own meals, AND exercises every day. She does “Sit and Be Fit” from the television three times a week and always ends each session with the chair yoga sun salutations.  On the other days, she does chair yoga.

So if June can do a sit-up at 100 years old, I think we can at least try. She said to me one day “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. She is so RIGHT! (More about June coming up).

If you haven’t done a sit-up in a while, most likely it’s going to be a little difficult or maybe even impossible. NO WORRIES! You can work up to it.

  • If it’s been a while, start in a seated position.
  • Hold behind your legs for support and start to roll slowly down to a reclined position.
  • Then roll back up. (Hold behind the legs if you need to. If that is still too challenging, only roll down halfway).
  • If that is too easy, let go of your legs and do full sit-ups.
  • Wanting more of a challenge? Cross your arms over your chest and then do your sit-ups.
  • Do 10-15 reps in thoughts of JUNE. More or less depending on your ability and desire.

BENEFITS

  • Obviously, improves core strength
  • Improve hip flexor strength
  • Increase flexibility
  • Help lose tummy fat
  • Tone the ab area
  • Improve posture

Wrist circles

  • Reach your arms up over your chest and simply make several circles with your wrists.
  • Change directions.
  • Do several reps.
  • Make a tight fist and then spread your fingers out as far as they’ll go. Open and closed several times.

BENEFITS

  • Improves circulation
  • Increases mobility
  • Reclined Pigeon Pose

Reclined Pigeon Pose

This pose is also referred to as the Eye of the Needle pose. It is a great alternative to an upright pigeon pose, which can be very stressful on the knees and hips.

  • While on your back and with bent knees, take one foot and place it top of the other thigh. (Just above the knee).
  • Flex the foot that is on the leg.
  • That may be enough stretch for some. If not, gently press the knee away from you to increase the hip stretch.
  • If that is still not giving you the stretch you want: reach your hands behind the leg that is underneath, and pull your leg towards you. (This will increase the stretch in your gluteal muscles).
  • Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the other side.

BENEFITS

Releases tension in the muscles of the lower back, hips, and hamstrings.

Opens the hips and reduces the symptoms of sciatica.

Enhances blood flow in the lower back

***CONTRAINDICATIONS***

Those suffering from knee injuries or sacroiliac conditions should avoid practicing this pose. If you experience tingling, numbness, or pain in your hips, legs, or lower back, immediately stop.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and do a few stretches in bed. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you do!

More resources for yoga and stretching

Office yoga

Exercise That Anyone Can Do

Tension Release For Neck & Shoulders

Chair Yoga DVD

Jan Howell Yoga YouTube Station

Start your day the yoga way!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Office Yoga: 10 Poses to Prevent Stiffness & Fatigue While at Work

office yoga overhead stretch

Are you stuck at a desk or chair for long periods of time during the day? I’m going to show you some office yoga that you can do to prevent stiffness and improve your overall health.

If you are a visual learner and would enjoy a video tutorial, I have filmed the process and offer it for FREE on my youtube station.

Play Video

Moving your body throughout the day is VITAL for your health.

If you work in one position all day long, whether sitting, standing, or otherwise, it’s important to understand how gravity is negatively affecting your health when you are sedentary. You’ve all heard the phrase, “Sitting is the New Smoking,” well there is a lot to be said about that.

Statistics show the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

  • obesity
  • increased blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • excess body fat around the waist
  • abnormal cholesterol
  • metabolic syndrome
  • cardiovascular disease and cancer

There are a few good references I want to refer you to regarding MOVEMENT.

Joan Vernikos. Here is a good youtube watch when you have some time. VERY INFORMATIVE!

Books:

Websites:

 

 


I know, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in your work. Before long, time has gone by (1-2 hours) and you are still sitting at your desk. This is NOT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELBEING! However, there are some things you can do to help break up those sitting spells.

SIMPLY GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF THE CHAIR and do a little office yoga.

 

Here are 10 office yoga poses that you can easily do at the office/ or at home to keep you moving and feeling great.

1-   Overhead Reach & Stretch

  • Simply inhale and bring both hands out to the side and over your head.
  • Exhale, let your hands drop back down to your side.
  • Repeat 3-4 times

BENEFITS: Stretches the arms and shoulders. Leaves you feeling energized and grounded.

Extending your arms out to the side and over your head does more than stretch your body.

What do winning athletes do when they experience the thrill of victory? They throw their arms in the air in a “V” shape and raise their chins. Even people who are blind from birth instinctively use this posture when they win. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard, has studied the effects of posture on the mind.

 

It’s almost impossible to not to feel an improvement in mood by taking your hands over your head. It really does make you feel good. TRY IT!

2-      Tabletop/ Modified Downdog

  • Stand up and place hands of table or desk in front of you
  • Step back and bend knees a lot
  • Pull your hips back so your arms are straight and legs bent!
  • DO NOT STRAIGHTEN LEGS!

BENEFITS: Stretches your back, legs and neck. Opens your chest, massages abdominal muscles and increases circulation to head and makes you feel soooo good!

3-      Modified Plank Pose

  • From downdog, lower hips down and forward to a plank position.
  • Keep back straight or lower hips lower to create an arch in the back. (optional)
  • Move back into downdog.
  • Repeat as many times as you like.

BENEFITS: Stretches calf muscles, ankles and back

4-      Seated Forward Bend

  • From a seated position, fold forward sliding hands down the legs to the floor.
  • If you can’t reach the floor, hold onto your legs.
  • Drop your head completely
  • Take a few breaths there.
  • Inhale and roll back up to a seated position.
  • Repeat

BENEFITS: Massages pelvic organs, calms the nervous system, and increases blood flow to the brain, sinuses and face. Stretches the spine.

5-      Heel Lifts

  • In a seated position with both feet flat on the floor, simply lift heels off the floor.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

BENEFITS: Creates circulation to feet and legs.

 

6-      Foot flex & leg lifts

  • In a seated position, slide one foot on the floor out in front of you.
  • Flex that foot and lift leg up off the floor to hip height.
  • Lower foot back to down to the floor and then slide foot back towards you.
  • Repeat on the other leg.
  • Do 3-4 reps on each leg.

BENEFITS: Stretches calf and ankles. Activates and tones the quads.

7-      Seated side stretch

  • While sitting in the chair, INHALE and reach left arm out to the side and then overhead.
  • Continue reaching to the right until you achieve a wanted stretch on the side of your body.
  • Stay there for a few breaths and then when EXHALING, release the arm back down to your side.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do several reps on each side

BENEFITS: Stretches the side body, arms and shoulder

8-      Neck release (hand shake myofascial release)

This is an AWESOME office yoga exercise to release the fascial tissue in the arm, neck and shoulder; which affects the range of motion in your neck and upper torso.

  • Without moving your body, turn your head to the left and notice your range of motion.
  • Take the left fingers with your right hand and SHAKE the fingers with your right hand vigorously for about 10-20 seconds!
  • Pull and shake the left thumb now. (Yep, I know you are thinking this is weird stuff) Just wait!!!
  • Now take your right hand up to your LEFT EAR and start rubbing the front of the rim of your ear. (Rub vigorously between fingers.
  • Continue rubbing around the whole rim of your ear ending with the earlobe.
  • Now take that earlobe and give it a good shake, pulling it away from your head. (STAY WITH ME)
  • Relax your hands in your lap and look to the LEFT again to check your range of motion.

Ta-dah! It’s like magic!!!!

Did you notice a difference?

Yep, crazy I know, but it WORKS!!!!

BENEFITS: Releases neck tension and improves neck mobility

9-      Knee curls & twist

  • While sitting in a chair, bring your RIGHT knee towards your chest and your forehead towards your knee. EXHALE.
  • Lower knee but keep a hold of the knee with the LEFT arm.
  • Take your right arm and open it out to the side and reach back behind you.
  • This will create a nice twist and stretch.
  • Repeat on the other side.

BENEFITS: Stretches spine. Stimulates internal organs in the mid-body.

10-   Stand and sit/ butt lifts

  • Start in a seated position, and then simply STAND UP AND SIT BACK DOWN.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

If you can’t stand up because you are in a meeting, in a car or don’t have the mobility, NO WORRIES!

You can still fire up those same muscles by doing it this way.

  • Press your feet into the floor and act as if you are going to stand up, but don’t.
  • Do 5-10 reps.

By doing this, you should feel your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads fire up as if you were really standing up.

Can you feel it?

This is another exercise that is great to do in the car or airplane when you have to sit for long periods of time and can’t get up.

You’ll be surprised how much energy it really takes to pretend to stand up. LOL.

BENEFITS: Activates muscles in the legs & glutes. Great for circulation.


There you have it!

No excuses for not moving your body while at work. Do some office yoga!

YOU GOT THIS!

Keep Moving & Smiling!

 

 

 

 

Join me for other yoga videos and tutorials on my YouTube station.

You may also be interested in these previous Yoga posts.

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Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Move Your Body

move your body

Improving your health one healthy habit at a time!

move your body

Move Your Body

Just as running water does not freeze,
moving muscle and joints will not either!

The topic of exercise was included in a booklet I wrote titled “Alternative Remedies for the Body, Mind & Spirit”.  The Webster Dictionary defines ‘remedy’ as: a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease.  I listed it as a remedy because I feel it is just that, a remedy.

 
Years ago, after being diagnosed with a particular health condition and finding that running and aerobics were too harsh on my body system, I had to find another way to move my body. After trying my first yoga class, I was hooked and have been doing it ever since. It has helped me immensely on my path back to health and vitality.
 
Unlike the blood circulatory system, which is pumped by the heart, the lymphatic system relies on the contraction of muscles to drain the lymphatic wastes back into the bloodstream via lymph nodes. Exercise will help you stay well by helping your lymphatic system out. It doesn’t matter what form of exercise you do, all that matters is that you MOVE YOUR BODY! Doing something DAILY if you can.There are three types of exercise the body needs; Cardiovascular, Strength Training (Muscular Strength & Endurance), and Flexibility Training.
Cardiovascular Exercise, involves continuous, rhythmic movements of large-muscle groups, such as rebounding (cellersizer which I swear by), walking, jogging, biking, aerobics, dancing and hiking. Ideally, this needs to be done 3-5 days a week.
 
Strength Training, sometimes called weight training or resistance training decreases the risk of osteoporosis and maintains muscle mass and function.  Alternate these exercises with your cardio workouts and make sure to get all muscle groups to keep your body balanced. 
 

Flexibility Training, will help with the  ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. Pain free, flexible joints are important to good health and lifestyle.  Inactivity causes us to become stiff and inflexible. It is amazing how fast you can lose range of motion. Stiffness leads to improper posture that can lead to muscle imbalance, which causes a lot of other problems. An example of a great flexibility program is yoga.  I LOVE yoga!  Flexibility exercises can be done daily and should be done at least 2-3 days per week.  If you stretch just once a week, you will never progress, but always be just catching up. I could go on and on about this, but I will spare you until a later date.

Some days you may wake up and not feel like doing anything, let alone exercising.  Maybe you feel achy, or you just don’t feel right. Those are the days you need to do something.  Maybe it will be just a little stretching, or a short walk, but move your body in some way. The only time I can honestly say that I didn’t feel good after exercising was when I attended a vigorous yoga class at the onset of the flu.  It was a little too much for my system, when I should have been resting.  Other than that, I have ALWAYS felt great both physically and mentally after moving my body.
 
People of all ages and abilities, and sizes can exercise.  Some may feel that their health is too compromised to be able to do any kind of exercise.  They may be thinking “I’m too fat”, “I’m not flexible enough”, “my body is too achy”, “I don’t have enough energy,” or “I have bad knees.” and on and on.  I want you to know that we can all do something!  Exercises can be modified and diluted to fit your needs.  I teach a class at the senior center in my community where I show them how to use a chair to support themselves while doing exercises and yoga poses.  Despite their limitations, they do amazing things.  I have seen them improve dramatically both physically and mentally!
 
Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to anyone else.  Listen to your body. We all have different bodies, different lifestyles, and different experiences.  If you have limitations, it is easy to become frustrated.  Do not get discouraged, accept where you are at and enjoy what you CAN do. Each time you exercise you will feel different. One day you might have a lot of energy and on other days you may not. Adjust accordingly and do what feels good.
Mayo Clinic. com gives 7 basic benefits for exercise that I liked. It is simple and straight forward.
 
1. Exercise improves your mood.
2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.
3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.
4. Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.
7. Exercise can be — gasp — fun!
 
Studies show exercise to not only help us physically but it helps us maintain mental fitness as well.  Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which in turn cause us to have what is commonly know as a “natural high” or a “runners high”.

Here are some of the Psychological Benefits of Exercise stated in an article by K. Cossaboon

    • Physical activity is increasingly becoming part of the prescription for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Exercise alone is not a cure, but it does have a positive impact.

 

    • Research has found that regular physical activity appears as effective as psychotherapy for treating mild to moderate depression. Therapists also report that patients who exercise regularly simply feel better and are less likely to overeat or abuse alcohol and drugs.
    • Exercise can reduce anxiety – many studies have come to this conclusion. People who exercise report feeling less stressed or nervous. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise (exercise which requires oxygen, such as a step class, swimming, walking) can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
    • Physical exercise helps to counteract the withdrawal, inactivity and feelings of hopelessness that characterize depression. Studies show that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise (exercise which does not require oxygen, such as weightlifting) have anti-depressive effects.
    • Moods such as tension, fatigue, anger and vigor are all positively affected by exercise.
    • Exercising can improve the way you perceive your physical condition, athletic abilities and body image. Enhanced self-esteem is another benefit.
    • Last, but not least, exercise brings you into contact with other people in a non-clinical, positive environment. For the length of your walk or workout or aqua-fit class, you engage with people who share your interest in that activity.

 

I have been teaching yoga for many years and could go on and on about the benefits of exercise, and about the positive changes I have seen in my students, both physically and mentally.
 
Choose a form of exercise you enjoy!

 

    • Walking
    • AEROBICS
    • TREAD MILL
    • ROLLER BLADE
    • TAI CHI
    • SWIMMING
    • JOGGING
    • WATER AEROBICS
    • CYCLING
    • HIKING
    • KICK BOXING
    • MINI TRAMP (REBOUNDING)
    • TENNIS
    • YOGA
    • DANCING
    • POWER WALKING
    • RACQUET BALL
    • Rebounding
      Start today, CHOOSE to do something for yourself, no one can exercise for you.  By exercising you will not only help yourself, but those you associate with and love will benefit, as you release stress, improve health

and enjoy your life more fully!

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