If you ever visit China, you will notice that the parks are filled with people in the early hours of the morning. In them you will see the people perform many different types of activities. Above all else they love to do moderate and gentle exercises. You won’t see many sweaty and strained faces or puffing and panting individuals among the crowds. The Chinese exercise more frequently with less intensity, spending thirty minutes to an hour doing more easy going, less strenuous movements.
These moderate activities do many things in the body…
They tone and strengthen the muscles and make them more flexible and agile.
They help to circulate blood, oxygen and hormones up into the brain, refreshing it and giving it a boost.
They encourage the mind to focus on the movements, which can distract it, giving it a break from everyday anxieties and problems.
The actions open the lungs, allowing them to rid waste and pull more oxygen into the body.
They aid the digestion by helping to physically squeeze waste down through the intestines.
They invigorate and stimulate the adrenal glands to produce a small amount of hormones into the blood stream.
And they gently create, through the method of movement, more energy in the body.
The key factor to understand here is that these moderate exercises are giving you all the benefits of harder exercising without the drawbacks.
Or leave your organs weak and unable to function properly.
Or your immune system left without power to build white cells if they are needed to defend you.
And they won’t leave your body and muscles damaged and aching the next day, so there is no chance of these ripped tissues stealing and draining all your blood, nutrients and hormones away from your organs, where their use is far more beneficial and productive to your overall health.
As hormones are only needed in small amounts, these type of exercises won’t over use or wear out your adrenal glands. The hormones released into your body will benefit the organs making them more efficient and strong and less likely to become ill. Over time this extra strength will reduce the overall demand for hormones caused by stress and disease. This will help to preserve your hormones for future use and a longer life.
They are also helpful and effective for losing weight, because they are creating extra energy through movement and breathing and not burning it all up. You will therefore end up with more energy in your system after you workout. This will increase the activity of all the organs. Giving them more power to effectively clean themselves of fats and phlegm and to generally become more productive. This extra activity uses up more calories throughout the day and helps you to regulate your weight.
The other big benefit of this style of exercise is that because it is simply less draining than intense exercise, you are more likely to stick with it and not be put off by the pain usually associated with the harder exercises. Moderate exercises are very easy to do and can be enjoyable and stimulating to both the mind and body.
The amount of exercise needed can change from one person to another. If you have an active job you need less. If however you have a sedentary job, like working behind a desk all day long, then you will obviously need more.
If you are sick save your energy to treat the illness and don’t exercise too much until you are on the road to recovery.
In general, about 60 minutes a day of moderate movement is a good level to aim for. This sounds like a lot, but it can be spread throughout your entire day and can include such things as brisk walking to work or to shops and so forth.
You can also simply, stand up in front of the television while you are watching a program and then step up and down on the spot for about thirty minutes. If it is a good program your mind will be engaged and you will hardly notice the time fly by, until your exercise is completed.
Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Yoga are great forms of exercise which will get you healthy but will also provide many extra benefits for the mind and spirit as well.
If you wish to do more formal sports, try doing them in a more relaxed, easy going and fun way. Take the competition out of them. It will be better for your body and your mind and soul too.
There are now many Western studies appearing that prove how good moderate exercise can be for you...
A review of 47 studies concerning Tai Chi, by the Tuffs New England Medical Centre appearing in the Archives Of Internal Medicine, found that improved cardiovascular and respiratory function appeared in both healthy subjects and patients practicing Tai Chi. Some of the patients had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery, while others had heart failure or hypertension and some had suffered acute myocardial infarction. The studies also found benefits for arthritis, multiple sclerosis, pain, anxiety and stress.
The Honolulu Heart Study of 8000 men, reported its findings in the New England Journal Of Medicine. They found that walking just two miles a day, over a twelve year period, (the length of their study), cut the risk of death almost in half. They found in particular that the risk of death from cancer was lower. Those who walked very little were two and a half times more likely to develop cancer, than those who walked the two miles per day.
A study by the University Of Michigan Medical School, of 9,611 adults, appearing in the journal Medicine And Science In Sports And Exercise, showed that those who were regularly active in their fifties and sixties, doing activities like gardening, walking, dancing and so forth. Were 35 percent less likely to die in the next eight years than those who were sedentary.
The Nurses Health Study reviewed information on 18,766 women between seventy and eighty one years old. It found that those who walked one and a half miles a week, had significantly less decline in their thinking abilities as they aged, in comparison to those who did no exercise.
The Honolulu-Asia Study found that men who walked two miles a day halved their risk of dementia, in comparison to those who walked less than a quarter of a mile per day. 2,257 men between seventy one and ninety three years old took part in the study.
- Yoga helps asthma patients in ten weeks.
- Collet J. et al, The effects of Tai Chi on health outcomes in patients with chronic conditions, Arch Intern Med 2004;164:493-501.
- Hakin A. et al, Effects of walking on mortality among non-smoking retired men, New Eng J Med, 08-01-98 ;338(2):94-99.
- Richardson C. et a, Physical activity and mortality across cardiovascular disease groups, Med and Sci Sports and exercise, Nov 04; 36(11)1923-29.
- Weuve J. et al, Physical activity including walking and cognitive function in older women, JAMA 2004;292:1454-61.
- Abbott R. et al, Walking and dementia in physically capable older men, JAMA 2004;292:1447-53.