Exercise Is Medicine

 In Health, pensioners

Exercise is medicine and is also therapy. Exercise is also rare, rarer than hen’s teeth, especially if you are over 10 years of age! The exercise is medicine reference arose when I joined a 2 hour zoom with the CLL Society. A lecturer in exercise immunology from Surrey University explained how they had studied the impact of exercise. This was on people with my form of leukaemia. It was mindblowing and uplifting, but will be ignored by most people. In effect, the greatest danger to us is sitting on our backside. Keep moving, perhaps standing, but never sitting. Otherwise, it is pre-frailty and then frailty. That latter word is really the end of life. However, exercise is a dirty word, a conflict with the lie-in. It makes you look haggard, you sweat and encourage bacteria on your body. It is not a message that people want to hear.

How much intensity?

The exercise being discussed was not easy. It began comfortably but relied on increasing the load, day by day, a fraction at a time. The muscles expand but they are often still invisible. However, the lung capacity increases, you can do a little more, and faster. It appears slow progress. Seconds really count. The heartrate might drop, maybe just one beat, from 70 per minute to 69. That would be amazing progress and we must not think it insignificant. Firstly, you will have reduced the workrate of the heart. Secondly, you will have put into operation a sequence of unseen benefits. It appears that various parts of the body work together more efficiently. Your kidneys, stomach and arteries recognise what’s happening and play their part.

Exercise is medicine

What seems to matter most is muscles. It is these that we allow to become flaccid simply because we don’t use them. That requires weight training. Once, this was scrubbing a doorstep or digging an allotment. Washing a car is good but how many people now undertake these tasks? I have to admit I don’t like weight training or gyms. However, it appears that only the supervised participants really did the work. They had to be observed and then encouraged to do a little more, each time. I know that feeling, the horror of being a coach. Far too many woke people see coaching as bullying these days. The fact is that without accepting the reality I spell out here, you die!

PS The photo is me finishing the Dorset Stickler Race. Lots of hills and a flooded field to run through, but I felt strong until the last of the 10 miles.

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