All humans young and older of all walks of life must be concerned about maintaining good health, warding off or managing chronic diseases by taking small but concrete actions every day to have a Lifestyle Makeover that will literally save our life. Actually the lifestyle changes section is half my book titled “Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics” and does apply to all and not just diabetics. That section provides an excellent information base for people to have a Lifestyle Makeover and make balanced food and activity choices in order to lose or manage their weight, manage stress, prevent and manage their chronic diseases as they age.
I don’t like to use the word “exercise” (There is no mention of that word in my book) I will use activity instead because we might alienate those who have been sedentary for the last 40 years and think that “exercise” is for athletes only.
There are 2 components of activity those that work the muscles (Technically known as Resistance) and those that help us strengthen the heart and lungs and help us lose FAT weight (technically known as Endurance) . Both are necessary for SURVIVAL, weight loss or control, stress relief, managing diseases and their complications, warding off diseases, disease reversals and a whole host of benefits outlined in detail in the Activity section of Action Step 4 of my book.
There are 2 components to the activity type that works the heart. The first one is the activity that we do throughout the entire day. We need to increase our daily by making more frequent walking bouts and taking the longer route to most choirs during each day such as parking far, taking the steps instead of the elevators, in the office make frequent trips to many tasks and not group them all at once and make 1 trip (what I call “The 4-foot rule” in the Activity section of my book). Make an additional 30 second walking for almost every choir you make daily then by the day’s end that amounts to about 30 minutes of almost no effort.
People way overestimate their walking level so the best way to gage how active we are is to invest inexpensively ($7 to $10) in a pedometer. Increase GRADUALLY (over days and weeks) your level of walking to 10 thousand steps daily (easily achievable when making frequent walking trips and taking the longer way) to maintain your weight. For weight loss mode aim for 12 to 15 thousand steps daily. ( an activity log is available the last page of the book)
The second activity aspect is the one that strengthens your heart and you do that by scheduling 3 times a week (every other day) 20 to 30 minutes of sustained walking at a brisk pace ( faster than your normal pace but not much higher). Gage the intensity by the “Talk Test” (while walking if you are gasping for air after saying 2 to 3 words then slow down until able to say a sentence comfortably). More wealth of information on food and activity, on progression plans and there are even tips on activity for people who have physical limitations and who are on wheelchairs. Make sure to wear rubber padded shoes to avoid injury.
Preserving the muscle wealth in our bodies is crucial fro our survival and independence as we age. Inexpensively can be done by purchasing multi-resistance bands for $10 to $15 from Wal_Mart and work the arms, shoulders, chest and back (Extensions and diagrams come along with the product) with 2 sets of 10 repetitions each and for 3 times a week immediately after the walking bout (Because then the body is warm and injury is least likely and a warm muscle generates 15 to 20% more force.)
Remaining active as we age is not just an optional matter it is necessary for life and is litteraly a panacea.
Don’t forget proper hydration with 7 to 8 ounces glasses of water daily.
George F Tohme, Pharmacist, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh, Pa in 1987 and currently practicing in Texas. I am certified in Diabetes (University of Texas at Austin) and Cholesterol (American Pharmacist Association) Management, Smoking Cessation (Univ. Of Pittsburgh), Nutrition Guidance (Cooper Institute) and a Personal Trainer (Ace).