In the human body there are eleven organ ‘systems’ working together to make up one whole, a system of systems – our body. It should be kept in mind that these divisions are somewhat arbitrary as to which organs are included and which are excluded in any one system. It also bears remembering that no one organ system ever functions independently of the others.
The nervous system sends instructions to the muscular system as to when to move particular muscles. The cardiovascular system delivers nutrients and removes wastes from the muscle fibers of the musculoskeletal system to allow them to continue to function, etc. Dividing the human body into eleven organ systems is simply a way for the Health Guardian to organize information about what parts do what. In the body itself, the parts that need to interact do interact, regardless of which system they have been grouped into.
The maintenance of homeostasis is pivotal to any experience of wellness within the urinary system. The kidneys are major organs of elimination. They work in conjunction with the liver, lungs, the skin and bowels to help ensure a clean internal environment. The Kidneys are responsible for maintaining the water balance of the body, the pH of the blood, regulating blood pressure, and eliminating drugs or their metabolites. The kidneys also release the protein erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to increase the formation of red blood cells.
As people get older, the bladder changes, including bladder infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections. Elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less stretchy bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak. Bladder problems can disrupt day-to-day life. When people have bladder problems, they may avoid social settings and have a harder time getting tasks done at home or at work.
Common bladder problems include:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)— UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body and can happen anywhere in the urinary system. More than half of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime. Older women are more likely to get UTIs because the bladder muscles weaken and make it hard to fully empty the bladder. This causes urine to stay in the bladder. When urine stays in the bladder too long, it makes an infection more likely.
Types of UTIs include: Bladder infection— This is the most common type of UTI, in which bacteria enter the bladder and cause symptoms such as strong and sudden urges to urinate. Kidney infection—Infections in the bladder can spread to the kidneys, which can lead to severe problems. When kidney infections occur frequently or last a long time, they may cause permanent damage to the kidneys.
Urethra infection — A UTI can also develop in the urethra, but this is less common.
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)— a group of symptoms such as trouble urinating, loss of bladder control, leaking urine, and frequent need to urinate. LUTS are caused by problems with the bladder, urethra, or pelvic floor muscles.
Bladder cancer— Bladder cancer occurs in the lining of the bladder.
Everyone’s bladder behaves a little bit differently. But certain signs may mean a bladder problem.
Signs of a bladder problem can include: Inability to hold urine or leaking urine (called urinary incontinence), Needing to urinate eight or more times in one day, Waking up many times at night to urinate, Sudden and urgent need to urinate, Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating, Cloudy or bloody urine, Passing only small amounts of urine after strong urges to urinate, Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating, and Trouble emptying the bladder. Signs of Urinary Tract Infection: In some elderly people, mental changes and confusion may be the only signs of a UTI. Older adults with a UTI are more likely to be tired, shaky, and weak and have muscle aches and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of a UTI in the bladder may include: Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine, Pain or burning during urination, Strong and frequent need to urinate, even right after emptying the bladder, A mild fever below 101°F in some people. If a
UTI spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may include: Chills and shaking, Night sweats, Feeling tired or generally ill, Fever above 101°F, Pain in the side, back, or groin, Flushed, warm, or reddened skin, Mental changes or confusion, Nausea and vomiting, Very bad abdominal pain in some people, Some people may have bacteria in the bladder or urinary tract, but not feel any symptoms.
While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health.
- Don’t wait too long to use the restroom. Withholding urination can put added pressure on your bladder which can lead to infection.
- Pay close attention to hygiene – avoid harsh soaps and make sure to shower thoroughly after swimming in pools or lakes.
- Avoid foods that may irritate the bladder. If you have an overactive or sensitive bladder, avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to keep a normal urinary pattern. This works to remove any waste products in your system.
The nervous system collects and processes information from the senses via nerves and the brain and tells the muscles to contract to cause physical actions. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system consists of nerves that connect every other part of the body to the central nervous system. Together with the endocrine system, the nervous system is responsible for regulating and maintaining homeostasis. Through its receptors, the nervous system keeps us in touch with our environment, both external and internal. Millions of sensory receptors detect changes, called stimuli, which occur inside and outside the body. They monitor such things as temperature, light, and sound from the external environment. Inside the body, the internal environment, receptors detect variations in pressure, pH, carbon dioxide concentration, and the levels of various electrolytes.
Some serious conditions, diseases, and injuries that can cause nervous system problems include: Blood supply problems (vascular disorders), Injuries (trauma), especially injuries to the head and spinal cord, Mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or psychosis. Problems that cause a gradual loss of function (degenerative); Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Peripheral neuropathies. Infections that may occur in the: Brain (encephalitis or abscesses), Membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Overuse of or withdrawal from prescription and nonprescription medicines, illegal drugs, or alcohol, and A brain tumor. Other Organ system failure: Respiratory failure, Heart failure, Liver failure (hepatic encephalopathy), Kidney failure (uremia). Other conditions; Thyroid dysfunction (overactive or underactive thyroid), High blood sugar (diabetes) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), Electrolyte problems, Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B1 (thiamine) or vitamin B12 deficiency and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
A sudden (acute) nervous system problem can cause many different symptoms, depending on the area of the nervous system involved. Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) are common examples of acute problems. You may experience the sudden onset of one or more symptoms, such as: Numbness, tingling, weakness, or inability to move a part or all of one side of the body (paralysis), Dimness, blurring, double vision, or loss of vision in one or both eyes. Loss of speech, trouble talking, or trouble understanding speech, Sudden, severe headache, Dizziness, unsteadiness, or the inability to stand or walk, especially if other symptoms are present, Confusion or a change in level of consciousness or behavior or Severe nausea or vomiting. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical advice.
Following the Prevention Guidelines Can Help Keep Your Nervous System Healthy:
- Exercise regularly. If you have medical or health issues, talk to your doctor about an exercise plan that will be right for you.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take care of health conditions that may cause decreased nervous system functioning, such as: Diabetes and High blood pressure.
- Eat a balanced diet. A balanced, low-fat diet with ample sources of vitamins B6, B12, and folate will help protect the nervous system. Make sure that your diet contains lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids. This helps prevent dehydration, which can cause confusion and memory problems. To prevent dehydration during hot weather and exercise, drink water, rehydration drinks, or other fluids each day. Drink extra water before, during, and after exercise. Take a container of water or sports drink with you when you exercise and try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes. Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and colas, which increase dehydration and can affect sleep.
- Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs, which can affect functioning long after use.
- Have your hearing or vision tested. When you do not hear or see well, it is hard for your brain to record information.
- Set priorities and concentrate on one thing at a time. Older adults have a harder time than younger people giving their attention to more than one activity.
- Increase your attention span and ability to focus by learning new skills.
- Keep written notes. Write all your plans on a calendar where you can look at them often.
- Use a medicine box with spaces for each day. This will help you remember when to take your medicines. Take your medicines exactly as they are prescribed.
- Decrease your use of nonprescription medicines. Overuse of medicines may be the single biggest cause of nervous system problems in older adults.
- Develop a positive attitude about your abilities. Reject the notion that nervous system (neurological) functioning declines with age.
- Protect yourself from head injuries and prevent falls in your home.
Extensive skeletal and muscular misalignment can impair the function of the neurological system and other organs and disrupt the harmony of the whole body. The health and wholeness of the musculoskeletal system can be maintained only as long as the inner environment and metabolism remain in harmony. Musculoskeletal diseases include tendinitis, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Fibromyalgia, Bone fractures, Arthritis, Bursitis, Osteogenesis imperfections, Rickets, Osteomyelitis, Osteosarcoma, Hip dysplasia, Bone disease, Metabolic bone disease and Bone cancer, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial myopathy, myasthenia gravis, and tetanus and others. Primary symptoms of the musculoskeletal disease include pain, stiffness, swelling, limited range of motion, weakness, fatigue, and decreased physical function.
The most common disease or disorders of the male reproductive system are; Prostate cancer, Testicular cancer, Enlarged prostate or BPH, Prostatitis, Erectile dysfunction, Male infertility, Testosterone deficiency, Undescended testicle, Varicocele or dilated veins around testicle, Hydrocele or fluid around testicle. Male reproductive system health challenges also include genital ulcers, testicular disorders, or sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STDs.)
Among all the problems that can affect the musculoskeletal system, herbal medicine has the most to offer in treatment of chronic and degenerative ailments. In most cases, successful treatment of musculoskeletal illness with herbal medicine will be based on supporting the whole body, because systemic factors so often lay the foundation for degenerative musculoskeletal conditions.
How to Protect your Musculoskeletal System
- Don’t Smoke- Smoking creates a greater risk of heart attack and stroke, causes coronary artery disease, increases blood pressure and blocks arteries. It alleviates the LDL “lousy” cholesterol and lowers the HDL healthy cholesterol. Smoking destroys the musculoskeletal system by decreasing exercise tolerance due to the reduced amount of oxygen available to muscle tissue. Avoid smoking to keep you healthy.
- Stretch Often Throughout the Day- Maintain muscles, tendons, and ligaments by doing routine stretching and stretching movements throughout the day. If possible, primarily focus on strengthening your abdomen, quadriceps, shoulders, and hamstrings while also staying limber.
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure- Just because you don’t show symptoms right away doesn’t mean your blood pressure is at a healthy standing. Check your levels regularly, a considerable amount of damage can be done before you realize your blood pressure is elevated.
- Watch your cholesterol- Try to maintain a good ratio between your LDL and your HDL, studies show risk factors associated with chronic low back pain, are smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People with these conditions were twice as likely to have back pain. The theory is that these conditions may slow the blood flow to the lumbar spine, causing pain.
- Manage your weight- Try to keep your body at a healthy weight. Stationary lifestyles and aging cause the body to lose muscle tone. Added weight and gravity combined with muscle resistance cause the body to fall out of alignment. This deficiency of alignment causes stress on discs, bones, ligaments, and tendons, resulting in micro tears in fibers with ensuing pain.
- Live a balanced life- Nowadays life is filled with deadlines, noise, interruptions, and stressors that put us out of balance. Take a few moments to try and collect your thoughts and balance your day with healthy outlets that give you a chance to rest and enjoy your life. Physical activity, like going for a 30-minute walk outside, can help reduce the stress of everyday life.
- Be sure to consume enough water- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Water flushes toxins and waste products out of the body. -Get enough sleep at night- Getting sleep adequately protects the immune system, rejuvenates cells and makes us feel better.
- Practice good posture- Whether sitting, standing, lifting heavy equipment, kneeling, bending, good posture is vital. Good posture, when sitting or standing, keeps the body in proper alignment. It reduces strain on the bones structure and individual muscle groups plus keeps muscles toned. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor while sitting instead of crossed or straight out in front of you. While standing, picture a straight line that drops from the ear to the shoulder to the hips.
- Inhibit osteoporosis- Risks include smoking, excessive alcohol use, low calcium intake, and lack of exercise. Although men have a lower risk than women, they are still at risk, with white men holding the highest risk of all ethnic groups. Additional risks include prolonged exposure to certain medications, such as steroids, anticonvulsants, and certain cancer treatments. Regular weight bearing exercise, like lifting weights, help increase bone density.
The male reproductive system's function is to produce, maintain, and transport genetic material. It's also an integral system to enhance quality of life. Some Men who are experiencing problems with functions of the male reproductive system, are often embarrassed to talk about it with a doctor.
The most common disease or disorders of the male reproductive system are; Prostate cancer, Testicular cancer, Enlarged prostate or BPH, Prostatitis, Erectile dysfunction, Male infertility, Testosterone deficiency, Undescended testicle, Varicocele or dilated veins around testicle, Hydrocele or fluid around testicle. Male reproductive system health challenges also include genital ulcers, testicular disorders, or sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STDs.)
Prostate issues are more common for men over 50. The prostate gland enlarges with age as some of the prostate tissue is replaced with a scar like tissue. This condition, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), affects about 50% of men. Prostate diseases fall into three categories; infections, malignant and hypertrophic. Symptoms of prostate problems or BPH are; Frequent urge to urinate, A need to get up many times during the night to urinate, Blood in urine or semen, Pain or burning urination, Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream, Dribbling of urine, Painful ejaculation, and Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases with ageing. The most common age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. A male can get prostate cancer at any age but if they are under 50, the risk of getting prostate cancer is very low but it is possible.
Herbal infusions have been used to manage male reproductive system issues, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and the associated lower urinary tract symptoms. There are a handful of herbal actions that are beneficial in the holistic treatment of the male reproductive system; Reproductive Tonic, Diuretic, Circulatory Stimulant, Aphrodisiacs, Anti-Inflammatory, Alternative, and Astringent.
Definitions of Herbal Actions That Benefit The Male Reproductive System:
Reproductive Tonic: This is a pretty generalized term to denote herbs which have a specific affinity for the male reproductive system. These are remedies which exert influence upon entire sphere of the male reproductive system- prostate and urinary tract health, hormonal regulation of testosterone, libido and sexual vitality, etc.
Diuretic: This is likely one of our most beneficial actions for this system as it delivers things directly to the afflicted area. Of course, this is primarily used in the relief of issues which are reflexing or radiating into the urinary tract (IE swollen prostate).
Circulatory Stimulant: These are particularly beneficial for bringing fresh oxygenated blood supply to the various glands and organs of the system, delivering nutrients and allowing waste products to be filtered and detoxified. This action is particularly helpful for men with erectile dysfunction- which often accompanies cardiovascular issues.
Aphrodisiacs: These are of course beneficial for men with impotence and low libido. Some help to increase blood circulation, others nerve excitability and sensitivity, and others more gentle heart opening remedies. Another category of aphrodisiacs would also be our “chi tonics,” or those herbs which help build up our core strength and vitality, nourishing the vital reserve.
Anti-Inflammatory: Because the prostate is prone to inflammation (prostatitis), anti-inflammatory remedies can prove to be beneficial here.
Alterative: These can be useful in cases of androgen excess, which can ultimately stress out the liver and lead to “bad blood” due to the strain put on it to detoxify too many hormones. These could also be generally supportive in cases of overall stagnation and kapha accumulation (slows down digestion, as well as metabolism), which can have a secondary impact upon the prostate and circulation to the pelvic area. They would more specific for damp conditions or excess testosterone and heat.
Astringent: Astringency can prove to be effective specifically in the treatment of relaxed tissues, especially of the urinary tract, which can in turn impact the reproductive system as the two systems are to a certain extent inseparable. We want to use these if there is an excess of leaking fluids- be them sexual fluids or urine.
Many immune system disorders or diseases are chronic illnesses and are hard to address with modern medicine. With all holistic healing, any approach to whole body immunity must address the following aspects of human life;
- Bodily health and wholeness. The Health Guardian should ensure that the physical body has the appropriate nutritional and healing support to prevent or treat ills of chronic illnesses that may be affect it.
- Emotional well-being. The Health Guardian should ensure that the person dealing with an immune system disorder has a nurturing, feeling experience of life, encompassing both the joy and the pain of human life.
- Mental vision and perspective. The Health Guardian should help create a mind-set within which the individual can find his or her own place in the world and make life choices from the center of his or her being, not from a victim’s stance.
- Spiritual openness and vitality. This will take the shape of whatever feels appropriate for the individual.
Nurturing wellness through pathology prevention becomes a readily achievable goal when used with immunomodulators within the context of the holistic approach. A range of immune system pathologies can be addressed with herbal infusions: System tonics will nourish and tone the whole immune system’s form. Bitter tonics will have a generalized toning effect in additional to specific herbal properties and actions. Cleansing and detoxification can be greatly facilitated through herbal infusions support of the body’s eliminative functions.
There are over 50 kinds of immune system disorders and diseases. These are the most common ones; Type 1 diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Multiple sclerosis, Gillian-Barre syndrome, Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Psoriasis, Grave’s disease, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Myasthenia gravis, and Vasculitis.
As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia is a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.
There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as "micronutrient malnutrition." Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can be common in the elderly. Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. Dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Older people should discuss this question with a physician who is well versed in geriatric nutrition, because while some dietary supplementation may be beneficial for older people, even small changes can have serious repercussions in this age group.
These are the common diseases of the female reproductive system; Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Gynecologic Cancer, Cervical Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Interstitial Cystitis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
The organs of the female reproductive system produce and sustain the female sex cells (egg cells or ova), transport these cells to a site where they may be fertilized by sperm, provide a favorable environment for the developing fetus, move the fetus to the outside at the end of the development period, and produce the female sex hormones. Estrogen and progesterone stimulate the development of glandular tissue and ducts in the breast. Follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen, and progesterone have major roles in regulating the functions of the female reproductive system.
Menopause occurs when a woman's reproductive cycles stop. This period is marked by decreased levels of ovarian hormones and increased levels of pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. The changing hormone levels are responsible for the symptoms associated with menopause. For several years before menopause the decline in ovarian hormone reproduction brings changes in physiology that are expressed as a variety of discomforting sign and symptoms such as; Some atrophy of vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries, Vaginal wall shortens, thins and loses muscle tone, Labia majora becomes thinner, paler, and less elastic, Supporting muscles lose muscle tone ( sphincter muscles, bladder, rectum), Secretion of cervical mucus decreases, Breast size, firmness and shape change, Body hair thins in most women, but increases in some, Wrinkling and loss of skin tone occur, Body fat is redistributed, Bone mass is lost, and Metabolic rate slows.
There are herbal remedies that help with symptoms of menopause, symptoms such as; Hot Flashes, Insomnia, Fatigue, Depression, Genitourinary, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, and Osteoporosis. These herbal remedies include, but are not limited to; Hormonal normalizers, Uterine tonics, Nervine relaxants, Antidepressants, Laxatives, Anti-Hypertension, Alternatives, Diuretics, Antispasmodics, and Bitters. In the terms of tonic support, besides the Uterine tonics, the reproductive, endocrine, nervous and cardiovascular systems tonics should all be taken into consideration for a holistic balance in the female reproductive system.
A beginner's strength-building workout takes as little as 20 minutes, and you won't need to grunt, strain, or sweat like a cartoon bodybuilder, either. The key is developing a well-rounded program, performing the exercises with good form, and being consistent. You will experience noticeable gains in strength within four to eight weeks.
Buying your own equipment is one option. Sets of basic introductory-weight dumbbells cost $50-$100. Health clubs offer the most equipment choices, but of course, you have to pay monthly fees. Books and videos can help you learn some basic moves and how to start developing a routine. Many senior centers and adult education programs offer strength training classes, as well. However you start, go slow so you don't injure yourself. Discuss your new exercise plan with your Health Guardian and explain the level of workout you expect to achieve. Mild to moderate muscle soreness between workouts is normal, but back off if it persists more than a few days.
Some people consider weightlifting to be a cure for much of what ails us. It may not be the answer to every health crisis, but there's no doubt that it can benefit the body and mind in many ways. Some of the physical effects are obvious: Weightlifting can – among other things — boost cardiovascular health and bone strength (because it's a weight-bearing exercise), as well as improve balance and flexibility. But there’s evidence it does much more.
Having more muscle turns your body into a fat-burning machine. Building muscle mass helps your body burn fat more efficiently at rest. You just don't develop muscle through cardio the way you do when you are doing strength training. In other words, the more muscle mass you develop through bodyweight exercises or by using weights and other resistance equipment, the more calories and fat you are burning even when you're just sitting around watching Netflix or glued to your desk chair. (The amount of calories you burn at rest is referred to as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR.)
Want to stay active and injury-free all throughout your life? Weight training is an essential Rx. A growing body of research shows doing weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss (or potentially even build bone), and in turn, reduce your risk of osteoporosis and possible fractures down the line. In a way, you're really offsetting aging.
Resistance training is a natural remedy for sleep issues. A study found that elderly people who practiced moderate-intensity resistance training for 12 weeks had better sleep quality compared to older folks who stayed sedentary over a six-month period. What's more, you may notice you have better energy throughout your day when you take up weight training.
Building up muscle strength may lead to better brain function. In fact, research has shown that starting resistance training may help older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and improve cognitive function over time. A study divided 100 older men and women with MCI into two groups. One group was assigned to do resistance exercises twice a week for six weeks, while the other was instructed to perform seated stretching and calisthenics instead. The folks who built muscle by strength training also built their brains: They performed better on cognitive tests than the stretching group, and scans showed growth in specific areas of their brains linked to mental benefits. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.
Dancing has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including: improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness, increased aerobic fitness, improved muscle tone and strength, weight management, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, better coordination, agility and flexibility, improved balance and spatial awareness, increased physical confidence, improved mental functioning, improved general and psychological well-being, greater self-confidence and self-esteem, and better social skills.
You can dance in a group, with a partner, or on your own. There are lots of different places where you can enjoy dancing, for example, at dance schools, social venues, community halls and in your own home. Dancing has become such a popular way to be active and keep fit, that most fitness clubs now offer dance classes in their group exercise programs. Dancing can be done both competitively and socially. It can be a great recreational and sporting choice, because anyone of any age can take part. It doesn’t matter whether it is cold or raining, as dancing is usually done indoors. The gear you need for dancing will depend on the style of dancing you choose. For example, tap dancing will involve buying tap shoes, whereas ballet will require ballet slippers and ballet clothing. To get started, simply choose a style you enjoy, or would like to try, look in the Yellow Pages or online for dance schools in your local area and join a class.
There are many styles of dance to choose from, each with its own attractions. Popular styles of dancing include:
- Ballet – mostly performed to classical music, this dance style focuses on strength, technique and flexibility.
- Ballroom dancing – this involves a number of partner-dancing styles such as the waltz, swing, foxtrot, rumba and tango.
- Belly dancing – originating in the Middle East, this dance style is a fun way to exercise.
- Hip-hop – performed mostly to hip-hop music, this urban dance style can involve breaking, popping, locking and free styling.
- Jazz – a high-energy dance style involving kicks, leaps and turns to the beat of the music.
- Pole dancing – has become increasingly popular as a form of exercise. It involves sensual dancing with a vertical pole, and requires muscle endurance, coordination, and upper and lower body strength.
- Salsa – involving a mixture of Caribbean, Latin American and African influences, salsa is usually a partner dance and emphasizes rhythms and sensuality.
- Square-dancing – a type of folk dancing where four couples dance in a square pattern, moving around each other and changing partners.
- Tap dancing – focuses on timing and beats. The name originates from the tapping sounds made when the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch the ground.
Some people consider dance to be a cure for much of what ails us. It may not be the answer to every health crisis, but there's no doubt that it can benefit the body and mind in many ways. Some of the physical effects are obvious: dance can – among other things — boost cardiovascular health and bone strength (because it's weight-bearing exercise), as well as improve balance and flexibility. But there’s evidence it does much more.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. Researchers found that frequent dancing was the only physical activity of the 9 studied that appeared to lower the participants’ risk of dementia considerably. The lead author of the study, says he's not sure why dancing had such a unique effect, but surmises that, "Unlike many other physical activities, dancing also involves significant mental effort and social interactions." Both intellectual and social stimulation have been shown to reduce the risk of getting dementia.
Dance seems to help Parkinson's patients as well. The focus in many dance groups is to help members find new ways of moving and to improve the speed at which they move. Other clubs introduce slow, ballet-like movements, sometimes taking the class to see ballet performances for inspiration. With time, members often become more mobile, and more confident.
Dancers really believe in the body/mind connection, and dance is a way for people to use what's happening inside them and express it in an external, expansive way. Dance compares to talk therapy, where patients use discussion to explore feelings and alleviate psychological discomfort or pain. But in addition to using words, dance therapists help people develop a physical vocabulary to do much the same thing.
Many dancers firmly believe in dance as way of connecting themselves to their bodies in elemental ways, which leads to improved body alignment, enhanced mood, boosted confidence, and many more physical and mental health benefits. People may still have a chronic condition, but they can experience less fatigue, and much more strength from dancing. When dancing, lifestyles are improved, self-reliance increased, and yes – pathology prevention efforts strengthened. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.
The skin stretches two square meters and weighs over 10 pounds! Waterproof yet permeable, protective yet sensitive, skin may best be described as the outer expression of inner health. The epidermal or integumentary system is susceptible to a variety of diseases, disorders, and injuries. These range from annoying but relatively benign bacterial or fungal infections that are categorized as disorders, to skin cancer and severe burns, which can be fatal.
The body is a complicated system that consists of many subsystems that help to keep it functioning properly. These subsystems serve a variety of purposes and require needed materials to function properly, as well as means of communicating information to other parts of the body. Thus, the skin and other parts of the epidermal or integumentary system work with other systems in the body to maintain and support the conditions that cells, tissues, and organs need to function properly.
The skin is one of the first defense mechanisms in the immune system. Tiny glands in the skin secrete oils that enhance the barrier function of the skin. Immune cells live in the skin and provide the first line of defense against infections. By helping to synthesize and absorb vitamin D, the epidermal or integumentary system works with the digestive system to encourage the uptake of calcium from our diet. This substance enters the bloodstream though the capillary networks in the skin. Healthy functioning of the skin also is related to the digestive system because the digestion and assimilation of dietary fats and oils are essential for the body to be able to make the protective oils for the skin and hair.
The epidermal or integumentary system also works closely with the circulatory system and the surface capillaries through the body. Because certain substances can enter the bloodstream through the capillary networks in the skin, patches can be used to deliver medications in this manner for conditions ranging from heart problems (nitroglycerin) to smoking cessation (nicotine patches).
The skin also is important in helping to regulate body temperature. If we are too hot or too cold, our brain sends nerve impulses to the skin, which has three ways to either increase or decrease heat loss from the body's surface: hairs on the skin trap more warmth if they are standing up, and less if they are lying flat; glands under the skin secrete sweat onto the surface of the skin in order to increase heat loss by evaporation if the body is too hot; capillaries near the surface can open when our body needs to cool off and close when we need to conserve heat.
The skin plays a vital role in our body as regards the sense of touch. The nervous system depends on neurons embedded in our skin to sense the outside world. It processes input from our senses, including touch, and initiates actions based on those inputs. For example, when we stub your toe, nerve cells in the foot send signals up the leg, through the spinal cord, and up into the brain. The nerve cell connections in the brain sense these signals as pain.
As well as interacting with the body systems as explained above, the epidermal or integumentary system also contributes to numerous physiological processes, especially those involved in the regulation of the body’s internal environment so as to maintain a stable condition. An example is provided by the way that the skin helps in temperature regulation by changes in the pattern of blood supply to the skin and by sweating, as mentioned above.
Swimming works your whole body. Each swimming stroke focuses on different muscle groups, and the water provides a gentle resistance. No matter what stroke you swim, you’re using most of your muscle groups to move your body through the water. Swimming works your insides as well. While your muscles are getting a good workout, your cardiovascular system is too. Swimming makes your heart and lungs stronger. Swimming builds up your bone mass, and also reduces inflammation and helps you address most chronic disorders. Swimming is so good for you, that researchers say it may even reduce your risk of death. Compared with inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death. Some other studies have shown that swimming may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar. Swimming is appropriate for people with injuries, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses. It’s a good exercise option for people with asthma, and beneficial for people with MS as well.
Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories. A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous pace. A 200-pound person doing the same activities would burn between 528 and 892 calories an hour. A 240-pound person might burn between 632 and 1,068. To compare these numbers to other popular low-impact activities, that same 160-pound person would only burn around 314 calories walking at 3.5 miles per hour for 60 minutes. Yoga might burn just 183 calories per hour. And the elliptical trainer might burn just 365 calories in that hour.
Swimming improves your sleep. Swimming may have the power to help you sleep better at night. In a study on older adults with insomnia, participants reported both a boost in quality of life and sleep after engaging in regular aerobic exercise. Nearly 50 percent of older persons experience some level of insomnia, so this is excellent news. The study focused on all types of aerobic exercise, including the elliptical, Stairmaster, bicycle, swimming pool, and exercise videos. Swimming is accessible to a wide range of people who deal with physical issues that make other exercises, like running, less appealing. This can make swimming a good choice for older adults looking to improve their sleep.
You boost your mood with swimming. Researchers evaluated a small group of people with dementia and saw an improvement in mood after participating in a 12-week aquatic program. Swimming and aquatic workouts aren’t just psychologically beneficial for people with dementia. Exercise has been shown to boost mood in other people, as well.
Researchers surveyed a group of swimmers immediately before and after swimming at a YMCA in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Of the 101 people surveyed, 44 reported being mildly depressed and feeling stress related to fast-paced life before swimming. After swimming, the number of people who still reported feeling stressed decreased to just eight. While more research needs to be done in this area, the researchers concluded that swimming is a potentially powerful way to relieve stress quickly.
Swimming is also safe during pregnancy. If you were looking for a safe way to maintain healthy exercise during pregnancy, you’ve found it. Pregnant women and their babies can also reap some wonderful rewards from swimming. In one study in animals, a mother rat’s swimming was shown to alter the brain development in her offspring. It may even protect babies against a type of neurological issue called hypoxia-ischemia, but more research is needed. Aside from potential benefits to the unborn child, swimming is an activity that can be performed in all three trimesters. Another study shows no adverse effects of swimming in chlorinated pools while pregnant. In fact, pregnant women who swam during their early to mid-pregnancy had a lower risk of preterm labor and congenital defects. Keep in mind that while swimming is generally considered safe during pregnancy, some women may have activity restrictions due to complications in pregnancy. Talk to your health professional before starting any new exercise programs during pregnancy, and if you have complications, ask about activities that are safe.
Swimming is great for children as well. Children need a minimum of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. It doesn’t need to feel like a chore either. Swimming is a fun activity and doesn’t necessarily feel like formal working out. Your child can do either structured swimming lessons, diving, or be part of a swim team. Unstructured swim time is another solid option to get children moving.
Swimming can also be an affordable option compared to others, like cycling. Many pools offer reasonable rates to join. Some public schools and other centers offer swim hours for free, or for a sliding scale according to your income. If you’re still concerned about the costs of joining a pool, check with your employer or your health insurance, some offer reimbursements for joining a fitness program. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.
AFTER ONE SESSION: After your first yoga session (or after the first one you've had in a while), you'll likely experience a variety of sensations. It can feel like "an awkward, sweaty first date," where you're noticing muscles you never realized you had and are perspiring in places you never knew you could perspire. Once you get through the first class, your emotions might be all over the place, from overwhelmed (How will I ever do this? I'm so not flexible), to relaxed and at peace (deep breathing will do that), to empowered (like I did it—I got through something I wanted to do and feel strong and capable.) Physically, you'll probably feel a little sore. But even after just one class, your shoulders will feel stronger, your hamstrings looser, and you will move your body in ways you probably don't before. Regardless of your current fitness level, even the morbidly obese can access this first state, or “gateway” into better health.
AFTER ONE WEEK: Let's say a week into your practice, you've had two yoga sessions, sometimes called the "honeymoon time." Just a week in, you will most likely be hooked on how your mind takes a break during the session, how your body opens up in the different poses, and the Zen vibe you feel after each session. Physically you'll start to experience a sense of openness in your body. Perhaps it feels more spacious and flexible in areas that are usually tight and tense. By your third or fourth class, you should feel yourself getting the hang of breathing and moving. You’ll love that your poses actually feel possible. You'll probably start sleeping better and noticing glowier skin, as well.
AFTER ONE MONTH: After a month of doing yoga a few times a week, you might notice some shifts in how you handle stress—now you find yourself breathing more deeply through tense situations (bad traffic, stressful meeting with your boss). You are not a Buddha—you still get pissed off—but you notice that your shoulders are no longer up by your ears, and your jaw is less tight. You might also feel some bottled-up emotions finally come out. Yoga forces us to be present, and sometimes when moving into more heart opening poses, some not-so-fun feelings will come up. It does not matter what type of yoga class you choose to take, you will still be able to notice an emotional shift.
Now that you're getting stronger, you might also start actively craving yoga. Don't be surprised if you find yourself ditching that happy hour for a sweat because you can now finally stay solid in a challenging pose. Your food cravings could also change. Don't be alarmed if you find yourself bypassing the french fries for a salad because that's what your body is craving. With all of those twists and wind poses, your digestion system is on point.
AFTER ONE YEAR: A year into regular yoga, your practice shifts from structured sessions to "yoga off the mat." It becomes a way of life - how you breathe, how you focus your mind, how you move. how you treat others, how you move with peace and presence and maybe you become less attachment to things. At this point in your yoga journey, your focus has improved, along with your stress levels and ability to handle confrontation. Depending on your initial physical capability, you can expect to begin participating in other forms of exercise. Yoga is a true gateway into physical exercise.
AFTER TWO YEARS: If you've managed to stick to twice-weekly yoga for two years, you can expect to look and feel more vibrant than you were even 15 years ago—the clock seems to be ticking backward. Meeting everyday challenges with grace has become more natural to you. You've got this calm breath superpower. You also notice that the difficult poses you used to avoid have finally become doable.
AFTER 50 YEARS: After a lifetime of yoga, you're guaranteed to be "badass, wise, and mighty." We've all seen those incredible yoga seniors—those gurus who can nail a dance pose with grace even at the age of 70. At this juncture, you understand that approaching each pose with a "beginner's mind"—with intention and presence—is the way to keep your love of yoga alive. Your body is stronger than 99% of people your age, you have amazing joint mobility, and your metabolism is strong. So strong that you can eat whatever, though you'll probably reach for water because you'll want to feel good and ready for tomorrow! Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.
WITHIN 30 MINUTES: Ever heard of “hit the ground running”? That’s true, both literally and scientifically. Research has shown that exercise can instantly boost mood and help you start your day in full force. Running is probably the best way to beat the "Monday Blues." If you are feeling depressed, 20 minutes of running can work like antidepressant and lift your mood. Running prepares you to cope with daily stress and challenges without getting panicked. You will stop overthinking and feel more relaxed. This is because running can immediately reduce the activity in your frontal cortex. This makes running the simplest and the healthiest way to break free from the daily grind. Running also helps with anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Scientists have used the carbon-dioxide challenge test to determine the connection between anxiety sensitivity and physical activity. They found that more physically active people were less likely to panic in fearful situations even if they have anxiety sensitivity.
Running can elevate your mood like recreational drugs because it stimulates the same pleasure and reward receptors. This is the reason many addiction therapies include a lot of exercise. Running triggers production of endocannabinoids that makes you happier and more focused. It is not just the mood or mental state. running will fine tune almost all parts and systems of your body. It also will regulate your blood pressure. A meta-analysis of various studies concludes that aerobic exercise can be a non-pharmacological (drug free) treatment for hypertensive people. Running improves insulin sensitivity. Your blood sugar will come down instantly because the muscles will use the glucose or energy during the running. 30 minutes of running combined with the warm-ups and stretching (45 minutes in total) will boost your metabolism for the next 14 hours.
AFTER 24 HOURS: Doesn’t matter if you are a student, professional, businessmen, or entrepreneur, running will help you make the most of your day. A study found that employees are happier and more efficient at workplace on days when they exercise. Running will make you think highly of yourself. A meta-analysis of 57 studies found that exercise boosts people's confidence and improves their body image. It can also work as an effective tool to boost self-esteem in children. A study suggests that running or exercise can increase self-esteem in children or young people. You will learn and process information faster at office, in classroom, or any other environment, if you run. A study looked at different recreational activities and their impact after a learning period. The group that was made to run performed better than any other group in the study. Running results increased cortisol levels that is needed for better memorization and information retention. Another study has shown that aerobic exercise increases BDNF that boosts memory. Aerobic exercise like running will activate the brain area that is responsible for executive functions like attention control, working memory, or cognitive flexibility. It will help you work towards achieving your goals without losing focus (and your mind). This is supported by the results of another study: two groups were exposed to a stressful situation. The group that was physically fit managed to deal with negative emotions and maintain a positive outlook. Running helps you burn a lot of calories. Everybody knows that. What you might not know is that your body does not stop even if you’ve stopped running. You will burn another 190 calories within the next 14 hours. Running will help you sleep more easily and quickly. It will also improve the time and quality of your sleep.
AFTER A MONTH: We just discussed some instant benefits, but the real ones will start to show when you have made it a routine. Here’s how you are doing after a month. Running stimulates growth of fresh grey matter in brain. Just a month of running will result in thousands of new brain cells. This means you will learn new stuff lots more quickly and easily. Not to forget that you are more focused and awake. You will adapt to changes and deal with new challenges more efficiently. You have become an inspiration for your friends and family members. Sharing your daily routine and milestones will push your friends to start running and surpass your stats. Running can help you curb the bad habits or addictions like recreational drugs, smoking, or excessive drinking. After just a few weeks, you will feel that the cravings are not as strong. You will be keen to eat something healthy after long bursts of running. Heck, you might even start to like vegetables and fruits. It’s not just the diet. You will start to make smarter and healthier choices in other aspects of life. Self-control will improve, resulting in far less impulsive decisions. You will be able to forgo instant pleasure in return of long-term health and well-being. That means no more regrets or guilty feelings.
Fatigue is no more a constant feature of your life. There’s no shortage of energy while performing day to day tasks. In a study, the group that exercised felt “much better” compared to those who did not exercise. A 6 week trial of young adults who reported persistent feeling of tiredness found improvements in energy levels and a drop in fatigue. Running will boost your energy levels and that ever-present tiredness will be replaced with a childlike enthusiasm.
Mental illnesses and psychological disorders are on the rise, but you don’t need to worry. You are far less likely to suffer from any of those conditions because of your running routine. Research has shown that running in a natural environment works as a shield against mental health conditions. Going to gym or working out at home cannot provide these benefits. When running in a natural environment, you are not distracted easily and your mind doesn't keep wandering. It is much easier to concentrate on what you are doing. This will improve your productivity and you will do more in less time. By now, running has greatly improved your sleeping habits. Your mind and body are getting much needed rest. A relaxed mind is a powerful mind and it results in better psychological functioning.
AFTER 6 MONTHS: Now you are starting to get the hang of it. Miles are coming along nicely. Going for the run is not as hard as it used to be and you are starting to get your mojo back. Running can significantly improve free testosterone levels in men, especially the intensive interval running workouts. Testosterone is responsible for high libidos and sex drive in men. Exercise can also improve the sperm count, while endurance training improves reproductive potential. All in all you will be a more desirable and attractive partner. The benefits are not limited to men. Research has also shown that 20 minutes of vigorous running can boost physiological sexual arousal in women. And the most interesting part is yet to come. In a survey by Brooks Running, 66% respondents said that couples who run together have sex more often. Not only that, but almost half of them think that the longer you run, the better your sex life. It sounds strange but running can make you better at expressing emotions and showing affection. A study found improvement in a male's attitude and behavioral issues. This is an interesting finding because men are generally not good at showing emotions. Suppressing emotions is not very healthy. Plus, showing affection and emotions will also help your friends and family.
Running just 7 - 14 miles a week can also keep your cholesterol levels in check. You are adhering to the American Heart Association's recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Another factor contributing to your cardiovascular health is low C-reactive protein levels. If you were living a sedentary lifestyle, just six months of running or exercise will result in 30% reduction in C-reactive protein. This will not only reduce the chances of inflammation, but your IQ will also improve. Training for your first marathon can reverse age related vascular stiffening. Running can trim up to 4 years off the arterial age. In other words, your arteries will be 4 years younger after a few months of long-distance running. All in all, running has significantly reduced the chances of heart attack, stroke, and other serious complications.
A study observed 51% reduction in hemoglobin A1C values in runners. This is a significant improvement. The results were even better for the group that combined aerobic exercise with weight training. If you already have diabetes, regular running will reduce the risk of diabetes related heart attack to 20% and eye or kidney damage to 40%. Another review of multiple studies found that diabetes patients can control blood sugar and depression via exercise. A study found that the exercise group managed to make healthy changes to their drinking and eating habits and the group that just received health advice, doesn't do much. Sound familiar? Because we do it all the time. We receive health advice and do nothing. Running will make you do things. Running results in a kind of connectivity that allows your brain to have higher-level thoughts. Thinking out of the box isn’t that hard because you can analyze and solve problems. It’s easier to focus on challenging tasks. You are more comfortable taking up and managing projects that requires attention to details. You will also excel in your job as a manager or leader. Decision making is a vital part in such roles, and daily exercise can significantly improve your ability to make decisions. This was observed in a 9-month study by American Council on Exercise and exercise resulted in 70% improvement in ability to make complex decisions.
AFTER A YEAR: It is almost a year since you've started running. That’s quite an achievement and the rewards are worth it. Running on a regular basis results in neuromuscular changes that leads to better running efficiency. You are now able to run longer distances while consuming less energy. Your muscles and tendons will adapt to high workload and it will help in other physical tasks or sports as well. Strong knees or back can mean so much especially as you age. Contrary to the popular belief, your knees will actually get healthier because of your regular running routines. An estimated 80% of the population suffers from back problems at some time in their life. It is one of the most common reasons for visit to doctors. Thanks to running, you will be able to keep these problems at bay. Earlier it was believed that exercise cannot help intervertebral discs in anyway. Mainly because it is too slow to respond, but a recent study has shown that running can actually strengthen the discs. Running will also strengthen your thighs, quads, or hamstrings. and these are some of the most important muscles in your body.
Mental and emotional sufferings cannot bog you down for long. Running produces the chemicals that help you fight and forget physical pain. It gives you the feel-good emotions. The benefits will multiply if you are combining aerobics with meditation. It will considerably reduce depressive feeling. Sedentary lifestyle results in sad and sucky feelings that just don’t go away. Running will break that cycle and have a rejuvenating effect on your mind and body. Running can actually improve your looks in many ways. You will get back in shape. Your complexion will improve, and you are less likely to face problems like acne or pimples. A more upright posture will also add to your appearance.
AFTER 10 YEARS: Many people gain unnecessary weight by the time they reach 40. Excessive weight becomes a breeding ground for problems like diabetes, obesity, or depression. You can manage to keep these problems at bay by running. Another common problem in the 40s or 50s is poor bone health and osteoporosis. 1 in 3 women suffer from osteoporosis fracture after the age 50. Luckily, your legs, knees, and backs are stronger than your contemporaries. You can considerably improve your bone health through running. Running strengthens your core muscles too. These muscles are responsible for supporting your stomach and spine. It makes it easy to maintain a healthy, upright posture. Running will considerably lower your risk of cancers like colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, or breast cancer. For good heart health, running or aerobics are considered the best form of exercise for cardiovascular health. Running is also helping you deal with emotional pain or suffering from the past. A study found that marathon runners tend to forget physical pain when inquired after six months. Overall good health means that there is a significantly lower chance of premature death.
AFTER 25 YEARS: You''ll look much younger than your age. This is because of regular physical activity that slows down biological aging. Research suggests that high levels of physical activity can reduce up to 9 year of biological aging. Skin is usually the first thing that gives away your age. Running can help you look much younger by keeping your skin healthy and fresh. A study found that 40 year old people who regularly exercise had skin like a 20 or 30 years old. Not just reducing biological aging, running will actually add years to your life. In a study, researchers found an average gain of 3.5 to 4.5 years in the life expectancy of people who performed regular exercise. People with smoking habit added 4.1 years. Non-smokers added 3 more years, while cancer survivors added as much as 5.3 years to their lives. Scientists followed 1000 adults for 21 years. All these adults were aged 50 or older. After 21 years, 85% runners were alive and kicking, while just 66% non-runners managed to survive. Another study found that the runners continue to live an active life and have fewer disabilities compared to the ones who don’t. They were also half as likely to die early deaths. Most runners in this study ran around 4 hours a week, though the time declined after 21 years. Keep in mind that this longevity is not because of just running. It is because of the habits and lifestyle changes you will cultivate through a regular exercise regime. We have discussed how running can help you adapt healthy eating habits, quit smoking, improve your sleep, and mental health. All these changes will definitely contribute to longevity. Scientists followed 20,000 people over a period of 35 years. After 35 years more than 10,000 people who did not jog died, only 122, who jogged on a regular basis died in the same period. That is a huge difference, but it is important to note that strenuous joggers had the same mortality rate as those who do not jog at all. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.
Taking a walk lifts your spirits, but that feeling might go deeper than you though: Becoming active actually helps beat down depression and other mood disorders. “Large epidemiological studies suggest physical activity has a preventive function in mental health problems as well. For some people, working out can be as beneficial as medication and other therapies in treating depression. A lot of people say it clears their minds, relaxes their bodies and re-energizes them. The cardiovascular benefits of walking are biologically plausible; like other forms of regular moderate exercise, walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness, inflammation, and mental stress. And if cardiac protection and a lower death rate are not enough to get you moving, consider that walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon cancer, and even erectile dysfunction.
Regular brisk walking can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, helping you maintain a healthy weight and reducing inflammation. You have to make sure that you push yourself and do things so that you can live a strong and healthy life. In a report that included findings from multiple well-done studies, researchers found that walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and cut the risk of dying by 32%. These benefits were equally robust in men and women. Protection was evident even at distances of just 5½ miles per week and at a pace as casual as about 2 miles per hour. The people who walked longer distances, at a faster pace, enjoyed even greater protection.
Although many people with arthritis are worried exercising will hurt their knees, they shouldn’t be. Studies have found that exercise has more benefits for knee health than drawbacks. In fact, numerous studies show exercise helps reduce stress on weight-bearing joints by making cartilage healthier and stronger. In addition to strengthening your joints, exercise can help you lose weight, which reduces the load on your knees. Walking also boosts bone health, helping to fend off osteoarthritis. While combating a predisposition to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be tough, regular exercise can slow down the effects.
Walking 10,000 steps every day combined with modest weight loss, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes — even if you’re pre-diabetic. Studies have found that people who went from 3,000 to 10,000 daily steps five days a week improved their sensitivity to insulin threefold, significantly cutting their risk of type 2 diabetes. And if you have diabetes, vigorous walking is an excellent blood-sugar buster, lowering levels for many hours after a workout. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment.