For most of us exercise forms a key part of our healthy lifestyle. However, there are times when it is difficult to exercise to the extent we may want. For example our body may be ageing (and not able to do what it used to), or we may be recovering from an accident or injury. There are also times when excessive exercise can have a negative effect on the body.
This article looks a little more deeply into why exercise is encouraged, the key healthy elements and ends with a suggestion to take up one of the most accessible and healthy exercise activities of all (rebounding).
To start our brief exploration of health and exercise we can look at the definitions of health and fitness. Health can be defined as: “soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment”
And fitness can be defined as:
“capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.”
Looking at these two definitions, at first sight it can seem that health and fitness should have nothing to do with each other! The definition of health points towards freedom from “stress”, whereas the definition of fitness is based upon the effect of “stress” on the body.
There are actually two key aspects for keeping our bodies healthy (or “free from disease or ailment”). These are boosting your immune system and/or reducing your toxin levels. Interestingly vigorous (also called anaerobic) exercise actually increases the levels of toxins in the body. So if you are exercising for health reasons we would normally recommend low intensity activity.
Given all this, how does exercise help from a health perspective? The answer lies in the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system relies on movement and a one way set of valves to move the toxins out of the body. The system is involved in the distribution of white blood cells and the transportation of toxins out of the body – and white blood cells are central to body’s ability to fight infection too. It does not have a muscle like the heart to pump the lymph upwards. Movement is crucial to activate movement of the lymph fluid and it is movement that is important to maintaining great health.
At La Crisalida we emphasise movement (rather than vigorous exercise) for optimum health. We have many such classes at the retreats including one of our most popular which is rebounding. If you haven’t heard about rebounding classes, it is simply bouncing on mini trampolines to music! It provides the perfect balance for combining low intensity exercise with the perfect form of movement for the lymphatic system. The added bonus of course for many of our guests is that rebounding is great fun and allows us to lose weight too.
Rebounders are simple and cheap to buy so we recommend you find a class or try it out in the comfort of your own home listening to some of your favourite music!
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