Motion is Lotion: The Magic Elexir of Exercise

Life is movement.  When there is no longer any movement of the body life ceases to exist.  Our breathing involves movement of the diaphragm and the rib cage. The contractions of the ventricles of the heart push blood through the circulatory system acting as a transport system providing nutrients and oxygen and the removal of waste.  There are processes in each cell of your body that involves the building and movement and transport of nutrients, fuels, proteins, neurotransmitters, …..
Physical exercise is a magic ingredient, the ultimate health prescription providing a panacea of positive benefits for your body, brain and mind.  When performed following the proper guidelines, it provides numerous benefits.  It strengthens the heart and other muscles, it improves circulation by strengthening your heart, improving the health and number of blood vessels throughout your body including your brain, improves joint/cartilage health, digestion and respiration, improves neurological and cognitive function, impacts sleep positively, promotes repair and regeneration, improves mood, decreases the risk of depression, and decreases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.  This is also true of injured structures as well.  Movement and exercise promotes repair.

The improvements that are experienced from exercise are specific to the type of exercises performed.  Strengthening exercises will impact structures that help to improve strength including an increase in the number and size of muscle fibers, improvement in function of elements of the nervous system, localized increase in number of blood vessels, increased strength of bones ….  Cardiovascular exercises affects structures involved in improving circulation, including the strength and efficiency of our heart.  Regular moderate exercise also improves cognitive function, improves moods, helps prevent and treats depression, promotes repair and regeneration of tissue, improves joint health decreases inflammation, improves circulation, decreases the risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and even stimulates the formation of new cells in the brain ….  Regular exercise is truly one of the most beneficial investments of your time that can be made for your physical and mental health.

When injured, progressive exercise helps to decrease inflammation, stimulate repair and regeneration of the damaged structures and promote healing.  This will help the structures heal as quickly as possible and, by promoting efficient repair, will also decrease the risk of re-occurrence.  The key to exercise in regards to injury rehabilitation is that it must be progressive and incremental.  A damaged structure is weak.  If the demand we place on the structure is greater than its ability to withstand, we will re-injure the area.  If the exercise is to easy, the body does not sense the need to stimulate the body to make changes.  In addition to determining the appropriate intensity, the body also needs time to make adaptations, therefore sufficient rest must also be given.

Exercise is Medicine!!

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© 2018 by René Pelletier, D.O.