• Cordell E Logan, ND

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Exercise Rules

Exercise Rules

Cordell E Logan, ND

Exercise is as important as proper nutrition. It may even be more important.

Dr. Jordan D. Metzl reported on how important exercise is in the book, The Exercise Cure, with the following: “Low fitness stood out by far as the single strongest predictor of death — more powerful even than obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. With the exception of high blood pressure, which ran a close second, compared to the risks associated with being unfit, the other factors were small potatoes.”(1)

Sitting for more than a few hours day-in and day-out, leads to a shortened life span. Consider the following (taken from the internet):

“In 2010, a team led by Alpa Patel of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta analyzed the data from a 14-year study of 123,000 middle-aged adults. When they compared mortality rates of those who spent six hours a day or more sitting and those who reported three or fewer hours — and when they took into account other factors such as diet — they found something surprising: Extra time on the couch was associated with a 34 percent higher mortality rate for women and 17 percent higher for men in the 14 years after they joined the study. It is not clear why there is such a big sex difference.”

“In another study, a team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed data on the television- viewing habits of 8,800 Australians. They calculated that each hour of television correlated with 22 minutes off the average life expectancy of an adult older than 25.”

Exercise releases endorphins, which make us feel happier and less stressed. Exercise aids in many mental conditions including depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, and coping with stress. There is an increase in synthesis and release of dopamine. Exercise may decrease or eliminate the need for drugs.
Sleep apnea, often associated with obesity, can respond favorably to exercise.
The long-term Framingham study has shown that exercise is heart protective.
Studies have shown that exercise aids in diabetes control. Also affected are the metabolic syndrome, abnormal triglyceride and cholesterol levels (with the overuse of statin drugs, many are now too low in cholesterol), thyroid, and the visceral fat problem.
For musculoskeletal problems, the once-promoted idea of rest has now been shown to often not be of benefit. Proper exercise can strengthen weakened and damaged muscles and connective tissues.

The United States now has some of the worst health problems of any country in the world. In Esther Gokhale’s book, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, she pointed out, after studying many societies around the world, that proper life style contributes greatly to health. Many of us have a retroverted pelvis leading to stooping and poor health. Many chairs and seats are designed improperly.

More and more research is showing the importance of the fascia as related to physiciology.  The fascia is the thin layer that covers body organs.  It has been neglated for thousands of years.  Some think the acupuncture points are located here.  It has been suggested that the fascia be listed as an organ, just like the liver, heart, glands, skin, etc. are organs.  Ming Chew has incorportated the fascia as an important part of an excercise program.  The playright and poet, Walt Goldman, stated that at his age of 75, he feels better and stronger than any other time in his life.(2)   His book is most excellent and it would be well to study his ideas as a first step in an exercise program.

The Tibetan Rites is an ancient way to help keep limber and balanced.  (Google for this.)

This short report can lead to further study by the reader. Three good books for further study are:

Chew, Ming with Stephanie Golden.  The Permanent Pain Cure.  2008.
Gokhale, Esther. 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. 2008.
Metzel, Jordan D. with Andrew Heffernan. The Exercise Cure. 2013.

Dr. Kelly Starrett has worked with top athletes to enhance their performance, as well as working with people from all walks of life to correct and improve their health. One key to help the back and other areas is what he calls the “bracing technique.” The key is to squeeze your butt, as hard as you can, which addresses the pelvic and spine areas. This externally rotates the legs and sets the pelvis in proper position. A second technique involves pulling the lower ribs in when standing straight. A third is to tighten the belly while holding the glutes, inhale deeply and when exhaling to engage the abdominal muscles as if putting the belly towards the spine. This is not as if sucking or hallowing but a stiffening during exhaling. A fourth technique is keep the head over the shoulders (not squeezing the shoulder blades together).
The use of torque, Starrett continues, is a tendency towards rotation, in this case that of joints. Torque is important for joint and strength stability. For example, when doing a squat, keep the feet straight (not turned out). A correct foot arch occurs when the heel is aligned with the Achilles, with the legs externally rotated at the hip, not at the feet. This also relates to preventing ACL tears.
Starrett claims ordinary stretching is not helpful. Leopards do not stretch (hence the name of his book, Becoming a Supple Leopard). Stretching by itself as an end-range static movement does not promote motor control or the correct position of joints.
Sitting much of the time makes hip the flexures contract, and they become stiff.
Missing good internal rotation at the shoulders leads to rounded shoulders, with consequent tight joint space. This also leads to shortened pics.
Lacrosse balls, stretching bands, and foam rollers can be helpful in improving body structure.

This short report can lead to further study by the reader. Three good books for further study are:
Metzel, Jordan D. with Andrew Heffernan. The Exercise Cure. 2013.
Starrett, Kelly, with Glen Cordoza. Becoming a Supple Leopard. 2013.
Gokhale, Esther. 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. 2008.

Adding to understanding the importance of exercise is the role of the fascial layer that typically covers muscles. Up until now this has not received much attention. However, Dr. Warren Hammer (ACA News, April 2014) now relates this tissue as possibly another sensory organ. Some 30 to 40% of the force generated by muscle is due to its surrounding fascia. It helps in the gliding mechanisms. Some think acupuncture points are found here.

1. Metzel, Jordan D. with Andrew Heffernan. The Exercise Cure. Rodale. 2013. p. 12.

2.  Chew, Ming with Stephanie Golden.  The Permanent Pain Cure.  McGraw Hill.  2008.  p.xv.

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