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North Adams Chiropractor | North Adams chiropractic care | MA | I Like To Move It-Move It !

Living Well

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Chiropractic and Nutrition               413-663-5500


I Like To Move It-Move It !

I Like To Move It, Move It!     And if you want good health, you should too.

A good diet, while of the utmost of importance, only gets you part way to overall good health. Being active and getting regular exercise greatly increase your chances for a longer and healthier life.

In a recent study by Harvard School of Public Health of 13,535 nurses who were healthy when they joined the study in 1986, participants who reported higher levels of activity in midlife were far more likely to still be healthy a decade or more later at age 70. The study found that physical activity increased the chances of remaining healthy regardless of body weight, although those who were both lean and active had “the highest odds of successful survival.”

Cancer: In a review last year of 52 studies of exercise and colon cancer, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis concluded that people who were most active were 21 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who were least active, possibly because activity helps to move waste more quickly through the bowel.

The risk of breast cancer, too, is about 16 percent lower among physically active women, perhaps because exercise reduces tissue exposure to insulin-like growth factor, a known cancer promoter.

Cardiovascular Disease: Aerobic exercise has long been established as an invaluable protector of the heart and blood vessels. It increases the heart’s ability to work hard, and lowers blood pressure. As a result, active individuals of all ages have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. Though early studies were conducted only among men, in a 2002 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson and colleagues found that among 73,743 initially healthy women walking briskly daily, as well as more vigorous exercise, substantially reduced the risk of heart attacks and were as much as 40 percent less likely to suffer a stroke.

Diabetes: Moderate activity has been shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes even in women of normal weight. A 16-year study of 68,907 initially healthy female found that those who were sedentary doubled their risk of developing diabetes, and those who were both sedentary and obese had 16 times the risk when compared with normal-weight women who were active.

Another study that randomly assigned 3,234 pre-diabetic men and women to modest physical activity found exercise to be more effective than the drug metformin at preventing full-blown diabetes.

Dementia: Perhaps the greatest health benefit of regular physical activity is its ability to prevent or delay the loss of cognitive functions. The recent German study of 3,485 healthy men and women older than 55 found that those who were physically active three or more times a week were least likely to become cognitively impaired.

The evidence is clear in study after study that, higher levels of midlife physical activity are associated with exceptional health status among those who survive to older ages and support the role of physical activity in improving overall health.

Here are some suggestions to get you started. Look at your daily routines and see where you can work in some time on a regular basis, just 10 minutes of time throughout the day is fine to start. Once you begin feeling the benefits you’ll be inspired to find more time for these activities.

• Get up a little earlier (yes you can do it).  Do a little something - stretching, yoga, light weights, treadmill, even bouncing on a mini trampoline will get your heart going. This will clear that morning brain fog better than that first cup of coffee will. 
• Is school or work close enough to walk (or bike) on nice days?  Walking (or biking) with the kids to school is good for your and them both.
• Work walking into your lunch break. Either walk to lunch or take a bag lunch with you and walk somewhere nice to eat (a park, riverside, the mall, museum, even a nice hotel lobby will do). This may even increase your attention and performance for the rest of the day at work. I see a raise or promotion in your future. At the very lease – better health!
• Take a walk after dinner instead of turning on the TV or computer right away. Have kids, take them with you – it’s only 15 minutes! You’ll all sleep better for it.
• Waiting for your kids at a game, band, dance practice, karate or play rehearsal – take a hike, well, a walk at least. They’ll never miss you and you’ll both get something out of it.

I know it seems like the recommended amount of exercise of 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot, but consider just 10 minutes twice a day gets you to 140 minutes. See how easy that was.

Build up over time to more vigorous activity
If you want to do more vigorous-levels of activities, slowly replace those that take moderate effort like walking and biking, with more vigorous ones you enjoy.

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity means you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Here are some examples of activities that require vigorous effort:

  • ·         Jogging or running
  • ·         Aerobic workouts like Zumba
  • ·         Swimming laps
  • ·         Hiking in hilly areas
  • ·         Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • ·        

You can do moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

The saying “Use it or Lose It” also applies to your body and overall good health.     Live Well !


North Adams Chiropractor | I Like To Move It-Move It !. Dr. Francine Lajoie is a North Adams Chiropractor.