Don’t skip this one! It’s not what you think.
Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for exercise. We usually think of “bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness”. But let’s move higher to include “the act of bringing into play or realizing in action” for this post. And exercise is best when it’s part of your passion, something you love to do. So, don’t think that you have to join a gym, though that’s great if you love the environment and fellow workout enthusiasts.
The exercising of your physical body is important for overall health, not just for physical fitness. For example, your spine cannot stay healthy without the regular pumping motion that occurs when you move. We learned more than we ever thought we’d want to know about the need for spine stimulation when my husband had disc therapy and then major spine surgery. Don’t neglect the need to move. Simple brisk walking can reap widespread benefits (https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/exercise-walking-better-back-health), such as:
- Strengthens muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso – walking increases the stability of the spine and conditions the muscles that keep the body in the upright position.
- Nourishes the spinal structures – walking for exercise facilitates strong circulation, pumping nutrients into soft tissues and draining toxins.
- Improves flexibility and posture – exercise walking along with regular stretching allows greater range of motion; helps prevent awkward movements, and susceptibility of future injury.
- Strengthens bones and reduces bone density loss – regular walking for exercise helps prevent osteoporosis and can aid in reducing osteoarthritis pain.
- Helps with controlling weight – any regular exercise routine helps maintain a healthy weight, especially as one ages and metabolism slows.
Did you know that different blood types do best with different kinds of exercise?
Blood Type O individuals, for example, need to expend high levels of energy on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of toxic stressors. Os do best with vigorous and intense physical activities – such as contact sports, aerobics, calisthenics, in-line skating – at least 4 times a week. This, in combination with a high protein diet, builds metabolically active tissue and improves metabolism. Failure to expend energy in this way can lead to fatigue, depression, and insomnia and eventually to vulnerability to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and consistent weight gain. Os counter stress with ACTION!
At the opposite end of the spectrum are Blood Type A individuals. Type As have higher levels of cortisol than other blood types even at rest, so As do best with quieting exercises such as hatha yoga, tai chi, golf, and low-impact aerobics. Break a sweat, yes, but do things that pull you away from stress. And you probably won’t be engaging in exercise as often and for as long as your O counterparts. The bottom line is that if As don’t get adequate appropriate exercise, their naturally tense state can produce heart disease and various forms of cancer. If they exercise too strenuously, they can get hurt and exhausted.
Blood Type B individuals do best with balanced exercises – midway between O and A – and truly thrive with moderate activities that involve other people. The best schedule is more intense activity 3 times a week and relaxation exercises 2 times a week. (I’m a B, and I find that gardening can count for both, depending on what I’m doing, and especially if I’m engaged in a beautification work day with friends!)
Blood Type AB individuals inherit the high fight-or-flight responses of type O plus elevated cortisol levels. ABs do best with quieting exercises that involve a heavy mental component. ABs should concentrate on improving sleep quality and removing distractions (my AB son is a wholesale lumber broker who communicates entirely by voice and fax, does no social media or internet browsing, leaves work at work, and loves golf – it can be done, friends).
This is a very bare bones overview. If you are interested in learning more, let me know.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your exercise routine, you want to be able to breathe deeply and move freely. Two of my favorite dōTERRA warm-up and cool-down products are Breathe Vapor Stick (a safe, effective ointment that is petroleum-free and infused with essential oils; it can be used as an inhaler or as a throat and chest rub) and Deep Blue Rub (a safe, effective lotion that is toxin-free and infused with essential oils; apply it on sore or stiff muscles and joints). Both of these products have pleasant aromas and can be applied when and where necessary. There are many additional essential oils and other natural product solutions for targeted areas and types of discomfort and respiratory support, so let me know if you are holding back on exercise because of these issues.
Exercise is your unique gift to your mind, body, and spirit.