Mobility: Gain and Sustain It
By Julianne Koritz
The ability to get up and move is usually taken for granted by most people. As we age, even in our 30's and 40's some people feel the effects of getting older. We may find it more difficult to get out of a chair or to walk a long distance. We can lose our breath quicker and we tend to slow down much sooner.
Overall, we don't push ourselves because, well, it hurts. However, being mobile should not be taken for granted - there are many positive effects from keeping an active lifestyle.
When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.
~ Tuli Kupferberg, Poet
One of the most important, yet unpublicized rewards of physical activity is the activation of beneficial hormones. Increased movement causes the release of hormones that can increase our energy level. A change of cellular reactions by these hormones improves bodily functions.
Here are some of the hormones and their functions that increase in the body with physical activity at all ages:
Benefit of Exercise
- Growth Hormone - stimulates tissue growth, mobilizes fatty acids for energy.
- Prolactin (PRL) - mobilized fatty acids.
- Endorphins - blocks pain, promotes euphoria, affects appetite and the female menstrual cycle.
- Vasopressin - controls water excretion by the kidneys.
- Cortisol corticosterone - promotes use of fatty acids and protein catabolism (the breakdown of protein to aid in tissue repair and immune functions), conserves blood sugar/insulin antagonist. Has an anti-inflammatory effect with epinephrine.
Epinephrine and Norepinephrine - facilitates sympathetic activity, increases cardiac output, regulates blood vessels, and increases glycogen catabolism and fatty acid release.
- Glucagon - promotes release of glucose from liver to blood, increases fat metabolism.
- Estrogen and progesterone - increases fat deposition.
- Testosterone - controls muscle size, increases red blood cells, decreases body fat.
Release of hormones during physical activity occurs at different stages and different levels. The more you exercise, the greater the release of the hormones and the more positive benefits will result. Hormones help make exercise more energy efficient and effective for bodily functions.
As you can see, many of the hormones encourage the release of fatty acids, which are used during exercise for added energy. Also, the more you exercise, the more effective your body becomes in utilizing different energy sources.
If you have lost some weight while working on your
energized body plan
you may have discovered you are more energetic and able to move more easily without feeling tired.
However, if you didn't need to lose weight and want to increase your energy output, you need to increase your movement. Here are some tips to get you started.
Exercise tips for getting active
1. Don't sit longer than 45 minutes at any one time without getting up and walking or stretching for 10 minutes. This is especially important in long meetings to clear your mind. You can become very stagnant in mind and body when you sit for long periods of time.
2. Instead of using the elevator or escalator, use the stairs or walk. If you are carrying a heavy load, you may want to invest in a small suitcase with wheels or a small cart. Unless you need to get to the 45th floor in a hurry, then, by all means, use the elevator. Even so, you may want to use the stairs for a few flights. It's easier to use the elevator, but then you lose the euphoric feeling and benefits of exercise.
3. Park your car at the first parking space farthest from the door. This saves your car from getting bumped and dented while you increase your energy output.
4. In your office building, use the stairs for exercise on bad weather days.
5. Stand instead of sitting.
6. Reorganize your day to include a 10-15 minute walk.
7. Find an evening activity to keep you busy, rather than sitting and watching television.
8. Use the exercise machine you bought every night.
9. Find a partner to exercise with and stick to your schedule.
10. Just keep moving!
The more you move your body, the more energy you expend, and the better you feel overall. Keeping active increases your energy level by activating the release of different hormones. The hormones released by your increased activity have positive effects on your metabolism. Keep moving.
Copyright © 2006 Julianne Koritz. All rights reserved. If you are interested in publishing this article, please email .
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