by Yvonne Lunt Salcido MH, Holistic Iridologist

Are you feeling the after holiday guilt from overeating, lack of exercise, and maybe eating things not as healthy as you should? How would you like to guarantee a good night sleep every night, be your perfect weight, and have more energy? Our bodies are designed to work best when we are physically active. Now is a great time to evaluate your exercise and nutrition habits. Only about 12% of Americans report exercising vigorously for more than 20 minutes, three times per week and the actual number is reported closer to 3%.

A few benefits of exercise include: cancer prevention, improves cognitive function, helps to overcome the negative effects of a poor diet, promotes the creation of new nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, enhances the entire nervous system’s plasticity (helping to prevent injuries to the body), has a protective effect on the brain as people age, has positive effect on mental health especially with fighting depression and anxiety.

There are three types of exercise the body needs; Cardiorespiratory, Strength Training (Muscular Strength & Endurance), and Flexibility Training.

Cardio-respiratory Exercise, involves continuous, rhythmic movements of large-muscle groups, such as rebounding (cellersizer), walking, jogging, biking, aerobics, dancing and hiking. Benefits include: the heart pumps more blood per beat, slower resting heart rate, volume of blood increases, tissues receive more blood, the bodies temperature regulates better, blood pressure decreases, improvement in the body’s chemical systems (mainly in the liver and in the muscles). A healthy heart endures stress, emergencies and the wear and tear of life. This needs to be done 3-5 days a week.

Strength Training, sometimes called weight training or resistance training decreases the risk of osteoporosis and maintains muscle mass and function. This greatly improves the quality of life and prevents injuries. Muscular Strength uses the amount of force a muscle can produce in a single effort. Strong muscles are critical for everyday life, such as climbing stairs. Strong muscles help to keep the spine in proper alignment, preventing leg and back pain, and maintaining support for good posture. Muscular Endurance is teaching a muscle to hold a contraction and resist fatigue. This is critical for good posture and injury prevention especially to the back. Sign up for a class or check with your local gym to teach you the basics to avoid injury first. After you learn the basics you can do it at home. This needs to be done 2-3 nonconsecutive days per week using all the major muscle groups. Examples are bicep curls, abdominal curls, push-ups, and bench presses.

Flexibility Training, is teaching the body to have the ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. Pain free, flexible joints are important to good health and lifestyle. Inactivity causes us to become stiff and inflexible as we age. Stiffness leads to improper posture that can stress muscles and joints. An example of a great flexibility program is yoga. Flexibility exercises can be done daily and should be done at least 2-3 days per week exercising all the major joints.

Most importantly, find something to move your body that is fun and that you enjoy. Think of it as play time! Be creative, change things around, maybe invite a friend, but be consistent and maintain a healthy habit!