I have mentioned in previous posts of my blog that in a protocol for health maintenance and/or recovery, exercise in general must be included as one of the many necessary lifestyle changes which have to be considered as a component of our bag of natural remedies and cures for many types of disease.
Exercise means Increased Physical Activity.
One type of exercise that must become part of our daily routine is represented by walking. We can use walking as a means to increase our physical activity and reap the enormous benefits that come with it. A study presented at one of the American College Of Cardiology’s annual meeting which looked at a group of people over 65 provided definitive evidence that the heart of those who stayed the most active looked more youthful than even the hearts of people aged 24 to 35. So staying fit keeps your heart young.
How Exercise Prevents Heart Disease And Reduces Hypertension. Activity Beats Stress
It all starts with stress. Stress is your body’s response to an imminent threat, a process inherited by our prehistoric ancestors. Just imagine him in the open hunting for food when suddenly a ferocious beast crosses his path: he is suddenly stimulated to jump to action, (the fight-or -flight response) to avoid becoming food himself.
His reaction to that stressing event is started by the emission of hormones, mainly adrenalin and cortisol, from his adrenal glands that quicken his heartbeat, increase blood pressure to rush the flow of blood to his legs to enable him to escape or fight.
Also our lives are full of stress -though from a different cause; think about a quarrel with your companion, or with your boss at work, financial troubles, a disease (and also, among others, by smoking, the intaking of sugary treats and fatty foods). All can just cause the same reaction from our adrenal glands and cortisol gets and remains in our blood for a long time.
This is bad because cortisol in our blood is responsible for blocking the natural dampening mechanism the body has to fight the inflammation of the arteries caused by the white blood cells when they are trying to fight the formation of the plaque in them.
This is a very serious problem because if the body’s dampening action is blocked the inflammation will increase causing a breaking off of the plaque which will block the blood flow of the artery and lead to a heart attack.
How can we stop the deadly consequences of the hormonal process generated by stress? With activity!
Being and keeping active daily will do it because with exercise your body will produce other types of hormones, called endorphins, which will act as mood elevators and naturally lower the blood pressure.
How Exercise Powerfully Helps To Prevent Cancer
As we have seen, exercise also promotes the emission of the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline helps circulate natural killer immune cells into tumors in the lung, liver, and skin, these cells kill off the cancerous cells.
This theory has been proven by injecting a specially bred mice -that do not have NK cells, with adrenaline (therefore mice in which exercise had no effect on the tumors). And the researchers found that this injection caused NK cells to move into the bloodstream, and infiltrate the tumor when it was present.
But if we were to block the flow of adrenaline the tumors the tumors would remained, even if exercising. Medical News Today reported that there is a link between the adrenaline-dependent mobilization of the NK cells and tumor infiltration. This link is identified as the IL-6 immune signaling molecule. Surprise! Surprise! The IL-6 is released by muscle tissue during exercise.
So adrenalin specifically calls for the IL-6 sensitive NK cells which help to guide the immune cells to the tumors. That’s specifically how exercise helps to prevent cancer.
Exercise Is Helpful Also For People Who Have Already Developed Cancer
It’s an old myth that rest is best for cancer sick people. Exercise can significantly boost the chances of recovery and survival also for cancer patients. An older Harvard study found that women with breast cancer who exercised for three to five hours a week lowered their odds of dying from cancer by 50%, compared to non active patients.
Any amount of weekly exercise can increase a patient’s odds of surviving cancer to some degree, and this benefit remain constant regardless of whether people were diagnosed early on or after their cancer had spread.
Additional benefits of exercise for cancer patients:
- the reduction of the side effects of conventional cancer therapy
- improvement of their quality of life
- Halfing the odds of cancer recurrence after they have recuperated
Exercise should become part of standard cancer care. In the US only at the Johns Hopkin exercising for cancer patients for up to 2.5 hours per week is encouraged.
Exercise Has Many Other Ways To Prevent Cancer
Because exercise affects several biological functions that influence your cancer risk, like hormone levels, immune function,DNA repair, changes in energy balance and antioxidant defense.
- Exercise decreases your insulin resistance, which reduces your cancer risk by creating a low sugar environment. This strongly discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Do not forget that cancerous cells need glucose to survive and multiply. Cut off this supply to starve them to death.
- Exercise helps reduce excess weight which is a significant risk factor, (obesity being responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases worldwide each year) because fat cells produce excess estrogen.
- Exercise improves circulation, drives more oxygen into your tissues, and circulates immune cells in your blood. The improved blood circulation helps the body detoxify of harmful substances, including excess estrogen, when it reaches your liver.
- Exercise promotes mitochondrial health. Damage to the mitochondria can cause genetic mutations that contribute to cancer. Mitochondrial health is at the core of perfect health. Exercise require more energy production from,your body which will respond by creating more mitochondria.
THE CONCLUSION IS: if you want to prevent ANY disease, EXERCISE!!! Cancer is just one of a very long list of health problems that can arise as a result of limited ACTIVITY.
What Is Walking
Walking is an essential movement that works no matter what age you get started, and has numerous health benefits like:
- Reduction of the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improvement of blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Improvement of blood lipid profile.
- Maintainance of body weight and lowering of the risk of obesity.
- Enhancing of mental well being.
- Reduction of the risk of osteoporosis.
- Reduction of the risk of breast and colon cancer.
- Reduction of the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes.
- Improvement of the sleep pattern.
- Reduction of the incidence of disability for older people over 65.
- Breaking down the fat in your liver
- Revving up of your metabolism
- Lowering the risk of diabetes, or managing your blood sugar better, if you already have the disease.
According to Dr. Sanjay Sharma, professor of inherited cardiac diseases in sports cardiology at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, comments:
“We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life.
It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.”
And new studies come up almost every day to prove waking exercise benefits.
Another study found that daily walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60. And walking for one hour or two could cut a man’s stroke risk by as much as one-third, and it didn’t matter how brisk the pace was.
Part of what makes walking so beneficial is that when you’re walking you can’t be sitting. Sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, increased risks of heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.
The more you move around and get up out of your chair, the better, and walking is part of this. Just by getting up and walking around for two minutes out of every hour of sitting can increase your lifespan by 33 percent, compared to those who do not.
The Most Important Reason For Walking
The reason why walking has to be done for at least one hour, or longer (even up to 1, 1/2 hours if you wish) is linked to the way your Collateral Circulatory System works.
Besides the main body’s circulatory system (the vessels and muscles that control the blood flow through the body: heart, arteries, veins and capillaries), our body has also a collateral circulatory system made of a microscopic network of blood vessels that ordinarily remain close but open and become enlarged with sustained physical activity (just such as a daily hour-long walk).
This secondary, alternative circulatory network also brings blood to your heart and when that happens it is what is causes the “second wind” experience, like that exhilarating feeling that you proove when you keep running and running.
To cause that to happen to the body is extremely important because the blood flow of the Collateral Circulatory System can detour around blockages, relieves angina (chest pain that comes from heart disease) and even help prevent a heart attack.
When you keep walking beyond the 30 min mark, your body will also increase the production of nitric oxide which will bring you additional benefits like widening your arteries and keeping keeping them clean of plaque and supple the which will lower your blood pressure and decrease the risk of both heart attack and stroke.
WALKING EXERCISE ORGANIZATION
How To Exercise.
Establish a comprehensive exercise regimen that includes everyday Walking/Strolling, by-weekly High-Intensity Interval Walking and by-weekly High Intensity Interval Strength training (of which I will write in a coming post) all of which have been shown to be of particular benefit for cancer prevention.
Never stop exercising, even if you suffer from chronic illness or cancer. Because exercise will ultimately help to boost your immune system. And avoid sitting as much as possible, limit your sitting to three hours a day or less.
For all the benefits on the Collateral Circulatory System mentioned above, we need to engage ourselves in daily Walking/Strolling exercise. It has to be done for more than half hour, at least one hour a day (equal about to taking 10,000 steps), 7 days a week.
Start with 20 minutes for two weeks, then advance to 40 minutes for another two weeks then you are ready to commit to walk for one hour every day.
By-weekly HIIT Walking
The Concept Of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Whatever type of exercise, walking or weight training, you are performing, it has to be organized according to the HIIT concept: repeated short intervals of 3-5 minutes of exercise at an exertion level of about six or seven on a scale of one to 10, followed by 2-3 minutes of rest or slow strolling. Repeat for a total of never more than 12-20 minutes. This is HIIT.
HIIT walking exercise exerts it primary beneficial effects on the main body’s circulatory system.
HIIT type walking exercise will give you the benefit of maximum fat loss, together with maximized heart reserve capacity nearly eliminating your risk of heart attack, and stronger lung power.
Fat Loss. With HIIT your body burns carbs during exercise, not fat, and after you finish the routine, your body will start burning fat to replace the carbs it just burned.
Your body will burn fat for up to 24 hours after your HIIT routine. You can actually burn fat while you sleep! After a few weeks, your body gets used to the message that it doesn’t need to store spare fat at all.
Heart Strength. You heart doesn’t need endurance training that you get with running or jogging because heart attacks don’t happen because your heart lacks endurance, they happen during times of stress, when your heart needs more energy and pumping capacity, but doesn’t have it.
The HIIT training program specifically create a strong heart, a heart with a sort of “reserve account” for your heart that it can draw upon during such times of emergency as heart attacks are.
Extra Lung Power. HIIT training gives you is very important. According to Dr. AL Sears, the creator of a HIIT walking exercise system called PACE, the lung volume is the number one indicator for risk of death. The bigger your lung volume, the longer you’ll live. A critical factor for preventing disease, boosting your immune system, improved delivery of fresh oxygen to every cell in your body.
Warning: Never do jogging or running. Besides not strengthening your heart and other problems, aerobics will not burn your fat. After 15 to 20 min of aerobic exercising, you start burning fat, but this will teach your body that you need fat to burn as fuel during exercise. As a result, it will make and store more fat to prepare for your next aerobic workout, thus starting a never-ending cycle: burn fat > store more fat > burn fat, etc.. and it will become impossible to get rid of that fat that you never seem able to melt away.
This is PACE, a HIIT training system designed by Dr. Al Sears
TREADMILLS, The Ideal Health Tool For Walking Type Activity.
Evidently, both daily Walking/Strolling and by-weekly HIIT Walking can be done ideally and more conveniently in the safe and comfortable environment of your home -with the help of those useful machines known as TREADMILLS. They are especially convenient if you are sick.
Indoor exercising is convenient for everyone anyway:
You do not need to show others a nice impeccable sporting wear every day, you do not have to be ashamed to show how in bad shape you may be.
And above all, because it is done in a controlled and safe environment, never too cold or too hot, with no rain or sunrays hitting on your head, with no traffic, nor air pollution.
And you have less excuses to avoid exercising.
Choose Your Treadmill
First of all, take into consideration the best sturdiest machine your money can buy if you want a long time of trouble free service. Be prepared to spend more than $700-1,000. If you spend less t you’re really just buying a disposable equipment that, if you use it consistently, you’ll be lucky to get a year or two max. out of.
Shop in the $1,000-2,000 range, and you get quality or features; Shop in the over $2,000 range, and you will get both. Absolutely never buy a machine that costs less than $500. For that money you will get weak underpowered motors, cheap electric components, small plastic gears, which wear out in one year -if you enjoy simulating hills, plastic cups that degrade from all the spinning, or simply seize up.
There are three types of treadmills: Budget Folding, Folding and Non-folding Treadmills. Non-Folding Treadmills are the best for our purposes. They offer a longer running belt, and larger running surfaces and higher max speeds that we need for our purposes but they have a sturdier deck and frame than other types which very suitable for our need of daily use. They are suited also for heavier people and come with the longest warranties.
Useful Features You Must Look For
Built-In Exercise Programs. To automatically vary the intensity of your workout by changing the speed or incline. You also can make adjustments manually.
Heart-Rate Monitor. A chest-strap heart-rate monitor is typically included with treadmills that cost more than $1,000. A chest-strap monitor gives you an accurate and consistent reading, and allows you to continually monitor your heart rate without having to reach for the handgrip sensors.. Other treadmills usually have a handgrip heart-rate monitor.
Controls and Console Gadgets. Look for well-labeled, intuitive controls: up/down buttons, quick one-touch speed and incline buttons, and large, easy-to-read displays that show multiple functions (time, speed, heart rate, incline) at once. You can find treadmills fitted console with speakers and even an LCD TV. But f they need repair, having them serviced can be a problem. You might be able to buy these items separately for less than if they are bundled in one machine.
Motor Housing. The treadmill’s motor housing should be set far enough forward so that it doesn’t get in the way of your feet when you’re exercising. Ideally the motor housing should have a concave shape that tapers to the front of the belt.
Before buying check if:
- The cushioning and shock absorption of the running deck feel comfortable
- When you walk or run, your feet hit the motor housing
- You easily straddle the deck when standing on the side rails
- The display monitor easy to read
- The controls easy to reach and operate
- A three to seven years of coverage on parts, and at least one year on labor are included. As most treadmills have a lifetime warranty on the frame, you should get that for the motor as well.
All these things considered, let’s see one of the top treadmill model by one of the best world manufacturer, Precor, which is part of the Finland-based Amer Sports Corporation
The Precor TRM 445 Precision Series Treadmill. The treadmills of the Precision Series are commercial models with the design and features of club-proven reliability in a treadmill personalized for your home and favored by fitness center owners. The new technology lets you use your preferences and exercise data to deliver a personalized workout that saves you time. The Precision Series is club-proven reliability in a treadmill personalized for your home.
With 23 preset workouts and 16 that can be created by the user, it is highly customizable. the capacitive touch display to show the data most important to you. The TRM 445 features responsive lever style controls for deck elevation just like the Precor models in health clubs. Works with any Polar compatible wireless heart rate transmitter (included). A SmartRate feature helps you stay in your fat burn, cardio or peak target zone for a more efficient cardio and weight loss workout. The TRM 445 can automatically upload your workout data to the Preva mobile app making it easy to track your goals and achievements.
The Precor TRM 223 Energy Series Treadmill. A more economic choice of the same manufacturer, but still a sturdy and fully featured machine with technology adapted from their commercial-grade models.
The Energy Stride Technology uses a patented deck mounting system from their commercial treadmills to reduce stress on the joints by giving areas of the deck optimal amounts of underfoot cushioning and rigidity for the most comfort throughout one’s stride.
A powerful 3 HP continuous duty motor runs cool and quiet providing plenty of power and torque when you want it – such as during interval training when you need to speed up and slow down in a hurry.
The TRM 223 features 10 preset workouts to tailor your exercise to your fitness goals. Built-in warm up and cool down periods. Touch sensor heart rate monitoring. SmartRate helps you stay in your fat burn, cardio or peak target zone for a more efficient cardio and weight loss workout.
The Pricing Of Treadmills
The price of this machine might be too much for some people while others could afford more expensive machines. Both can easily find what is more convenient for them because from this price level it is possible to go much higher ($15,000-20,000) as well as much lower (less than $200).
In any case, you always get what you pay for, as you know.
Just keep into consideration that you could possibly be using it for 1-1.5 hours a day for 365 days a year (unless you have a lovely park close by where you can take you walks during spring and fall season, or whenever it is not cold or hot weather), therefore the sturdiness of construction and power of the motor are of utmost importance to be taken into consideration when purchasing your treadmill.
The last treadmill I have had -now for about two years, was paid less than $400 but I should replace it reasonably soon because the cost for spare parts and service to keep it running is raising.
Until next time.