Over the course of the years here on the NFP site, you have seen many words and articles related to proper foods and portions for health as well as how the role of herbs plays a big role in the maintaining of essential Vital Life Force. Equally as important though, is the way we move our bodies and exercise on a continuous basis to keep the body strong and agile for a lifetime. How we move our bodies in the form of exercise or lack thereof can make all of the difference in the way we synthesize our vitamins and nutrients as well as regulate our mood in relation to whatever is going on day to day.
But on a much higher level than this though is the Naturopathic understanding that prescribed movement in the form of exercise to the client is in itself a healing form preventative medicine. Consistent and regular exercise can serve both as a preventive force and also as way to stimulate energy and stamina for the person engaging it. The reality of the matter today is that often times, people continually search for things to make them feel better and get them through the day, yet often shy away from establishing a exercise regimen. And as necessary and critical as eating Vital foods and herbs are, often times those are not enough to ward off disease and chronic ailments of the body. When exercise is added to the regimen, this is usually when someone benefits the most with all they have taken into their bodies.
This concept is nothing new when it comes to health and healing. Hippocrates wrote in his statement in: On Regimen in Acute Diseases in about 400 B.C.E: “Eating alone will not keep man or woman well: he ore she must also exercise. For food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet work together to produce health;…to know which of them (exercise) tends to increase flesh and which to lessen it; and not only this , but also to proportion exercise to bulk of food, to the constitution of the patient to the age of the individual…”
-In terms of the specific ways regular exercise can help address some of the most chronic issues that we are faced with today. Let us consider the following:
-Regular cardiovascular exercise helps prevent cardiovascular diseases as well excessive weight gain.
– Helps reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
– Physical activity slows the loss of bone density that happens with the aging process and lowers the risk of hip fractures.
– Strength training has been linked with pain management for people with arthritis.
-People who have a regular pattern of physical activity have a significant lower risk of developing colon cancers and breast cancer.
– Physical activity lowers the risk of depression and age-related decline of brain function.
–Etc; and much more.
Having knowledge of these healing effects is good and helpful, but what is more proper is if we can keep and on these skills in our lives for the better and for the long term. As we keep learning more about specific foods and herbs that will maintain us for the better. Let us make sure that we also add periods of exercise along with it to sustain the greatest impact. With health to you and your families.
-Dr. David (Daud) K. Scott N.D.; CHNP.