Exercise Prescription® stands head and shoulders above all other prescriptions
for keeping yourself healthy. In Western societies, regular, systematic,
vigorous physical activity strengthens all of the major body systems and,
along with diet is the foundation stone of good health.
most immediate benefit of physical activity is that you feel better.
the elimination system
The main players in the body's elimination system are the lungs, perspiratory
system, lymphatic and blood systems, liver, alimentary canal and the kidneys.
down an over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system
live in an age when more and more people have over-stimulated sympathetic
nervous systems. The flight and fight response that starts with the mind
and then works through the endocrine system produces muscle tension, constricts
blood vessels and generally alters a range of essential body functions.
major cause of adult onset diabetes is insulin resistance in the muscles
due to lack of regular, vigorous physical activity. Whilst physical activity
will not cure a dysfunctional pancreatic and endocrine system it will
go a long way toward enabling diabetics to manage type II diabetes without
up an under-stimulated parasympathetic nervous system
The gentle exercises, yoga, tai chi and walking have the effect of stimulating
the parasympathetic nervous system and causing muscles to relax and blood
vessels dilate. Endocrine function is restored to more normal levels.
You feel better.
the immune system
Vigorous physical activity stimulates corticosteroid production and the
increase of white blood cells. When the immune system is strong, you are
more resistant to colds and flu. You have an enhanced ability to deal
with allergic reactions and you're less at risk of cancer.
incidence of high blood pressure
Elevated blood pressure is directly related to motion starvation. For
the greater proportion of people training aerobically, with vigor for
40 minutes each day will restore blood pressure to normal.
aerobic efficiency and capacity
You can expect a rapid improvement in aerobic efficiency once you start
risk of heart attack
Cardiac dysfunction usually comes at the end of a long chain of dysfunctions
(autonomic nervous system, elimination system, liver ...). The status
of all these systems is improved by regular, systematic and vigorous physical
the respiratory tract
Every person with an aerobic regular training program knows that physical
activity has a wonderful effect on clearing the respiratory tract. One
wonders how it gets 'cleaned up' under normal circumstances without the
stimulation of the lungs and warming the body.
Whilst cholesterol levels can be lowered by eating less of the saturated
fatty foods and reducing the level of obesity, a key ingredient in a cholesterol
lowering program is a regular and systematic physical training program.
Anyone who runs or exercises with vigor knows that the digestive system
works better. One has to wonder at where the gas discharged during activity
goes when there is no activity!
There is an epidemic of headaches in this country. It is the most popular
symptom of poor health that people experience. Headaches have many causes
- muscle tension, digestive upset ... What we know is that people who
are fit and healthy don't get them. If you want to have less headaches,
do what fit and healthy people. They train.
in body fat
It is a tough assignment expecting to stay at your ideal weight without
a regular and systematic training program. Once the activity level drops
you can be certain that sooner or later you'll start stacking on the weight.
We say elsewhere that the cost of the luxury of an eight hour a day sit
down job is an hour of physical activity.
Bones do what muscles tell them to do. There is an epidemic of musculo-skeletal
dysfunction caused principally by motion starvation of the skeletal muscles.
Strength, flexibility and postural aligning exercises tone muscles, get
bones back into position and increase the ability of the body to do the
things that normal fit and healthy people take for granted.
oxygen to the brain
Physical activity ensures that your brain will get more oxygen. You feel
There is a universal law which says that if you want more energy you need
to use more up.
When you exercise with reasonable vigor for about 30 minutes or more,
the release of endorphins (that is, naturally occurring opiates) from
the brain brings about a naturally occurring high: - you feel better.
You have more energy and vitality.
Regular vigorous physical activity has a wonderful effect on improving
libido. A lowered libido is a symptom of poor general health. It is dramatic
evidence that a number of body systems are not working properly, from
the head down. Keep in mind that the cause of the dysfunction is not located
at the site where the dysfunction is manifest. Fix it up by becoming fitter
When you are vigorously physically active you need less sleep and you
If you can learn the discipline of regularly and systematically exercising
your body, it stands you in good stead for disciplining yourself to do
other things in your life.
You experience an elevated mood state when you interrupt your normal daily
routine with physical activity. It's like having your own little escape
stress and depression. look after your Self
Being involved in regular physical activity is the most potent symbol
of your ability to give back to yourself.
down the emotional and physical vicious cycle
Whereas it is widely recognised that emotional states affect the body
(psychosomatic), it is also the case that physiological states affect
emotions (somatopsychic). This is why one of the best things you can do
when you're depressed and miserable is to exercise. The main benefit of
physical activity is that you feel better.
Strange as it may sound, when you exercise regularly, systematically and
vigorously you are less inclined to overeat and/or search out those extra
high fat/carbohydrate snacks.
One of the great benefits of physical activity is being with other people.
People often feel better when they are doing things in the company of
other people. The secret of many a successful fitness program is having
the mutual support of a buddy.
Exercising on your own provides an opportunity for introspection. As Thoreau
said about his walks in the forest, 'I never found the companion that
was as companionable as solitude.'