The more you do – the more you can do!

24 Aug
Exercise calisthenics #2

Exercise calisthenics #2 (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

And the more you want to do which equals increased wellness for you!

The saying use it or lose it is for real.  If you are not doing regular physical activity, your muscles will not develop, in fact, they can atrophy.  This means they actually shrink!

I have seen very ill patients loose increasing amounts of muscle tissue after a few weeks of bedrest.  Fortunately most of us get up and walk around the house at the very least, so we don’t experience that degree of atrophy but we do lose some muscle if we are not active.

The less muscle you have, the more difficult it is for you to do the physical activities you want to do.  You may find even mild activity tiring.

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.  The less muscle tissue you have, the more difficult it is for you to burn calories.

If you are a couch potato and you want to increase your activity levels and your muscle tone, start small.  Don’t go straight for the 5 mile run after 5 years of relative inactivity.  You will feel horrible, probably both during and for at least a day or two after.

Start with something a little more manageable.  Do something that will leave you feeling invigorated but not exhausted.  You want to feel like you’ve succeeded, that way you will not mind doing it again in a day or two.  You might want to start with a short walk.  After a few days increase your distance a little.  Keep increasing gradually as your tolerence and your muscles increase.

The same goes for weight lifting.  Just because you could use 30 lb dumbells to do arm curls back in the day does not mean you can pick up where you left off.  If it’s been a while since you last hit the gym you may have to cut back a little or maybe even a lot.  Start low and gradually increase as you regain your tone.

Whatever activity you choose to do, the more you do it the more you will be able to do it – and many other things.  And forget about trying to get away with the I’m getting old excuse.  Check out Winnipeg’s Jaring Timmerman for some inspiration.

You can do it, just get started.  Better to do a little than none at all and before you know it you’ll be able to do more and more!


3 Responses to “The more you do – the more you can do!”

  1. The Landy August 25, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Now I might be a bit biased, but I can’t help but feel that people are not encouraged enough to do weight bearing exercises. The holy grail seems to be cardio, but as you say, as people age they get muscle atrophy and things like getting in and out of a seat becomes difficult…

    • livingsimplywell August 25, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      You’re right! People do need to do some weight bearing exercise.It is sad how sometimes people start being able to do less and less and they just blame it on age, but if you keep active it doesn’t have to be that bad.

      • The Landy August 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

        So true…I’m putting it to the test!!!

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