Our current belief in exercise has transformed the way we approach this essential part of health. Exercise has become exploited as a way to feel like you are taking an active role in your health. People are packing gyms and exercising at furious rates in order to obtain the much needed cardiovascular support that we use to maintain optimal health. I can not help but criticize the current popular approach to exercise because for a lot of people it has turned into a burden on the body rather than a supporting routine.
There is a key concept that you must keep in mind when designing an exercise program. Exercise is a stress to your body. Whenever you begin exercising, your body has to expend a great amount of energy and create a stress response to maintain the level of activity. While this is needed in order to condition the body, if you stress your system to much, you actually cause burden to it. Some examples of this are heavy weight lifting, cycling at high rates, circuit training, and many other exercise activities. These types of programs are very effective if you are training for a professional event.
What I have found with my patients is that many of them are actually “over doing” it with their exercise routine. They are creating to much stress on an already stressed system. They are missing the point of exercise. Exercise for the majority of people is about staying active. It is not about training to become a professional athlete. The three major areas that need to be addressed in any exercise routine is stretching, movement, and sustained aerobic activity.
You may be asking yourself at this time what is the best type of exercise, the answer is walking. Walking provides your body with the essential movement needed to provide the necessary cardiovascular support. Most people will say “But I walk all day long at my job.” Walking at your job and walking for the sake of exercise is not the same. When you are at your job or going about your day, your body is not receiving the same cardiovascular benefit as when you are walking for exercise.
Developing a consistent stretching and walking routine will provide your body’s physiology with the much needed cardiovascular support for lasting health.