Habits of Active Living
Formal exercise (such as regular sessions on a treadmill) is one solution for getting healthy, but if you have been inactive for a long time, it may not be your ideal starting point.
Exercise that is too vigorous may be risky for those who are very overweight or have health problems. Instead, start exercising gradually and slowly build up your intensity over time. Incorporating the healthy habit of regular activity into your life is an important part of Optimal Health.
Note: You should always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Along with helping you maintain a health weight, regular exercise offers you health benefits:
- Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
- Improves mood
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens muscles, joints, and bones
- Increases metabolism
- Improves bone density as the body ages
The NEAT System
A good way to become more active in your daily life is with the NEAT System. “NEAT” stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis (calorie burning). Simply put, you can burn more calories by slightly changing the things you already do every day.
NEAT can be an easy first step toward getting your body in motion. Examples include:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Parking farther from the store or office to get more walking steps into your day
- Doing chores the old-fashioned way instead of relying on modern conveniences
The EAT System
“EAT” stands for exercise activity thermogenesis, and describes burning calories through exercise.
Once you’ve incorporated the NEAT System into your daily routine, you may be ready to start an exercise program. The EAT Walking Program is an easy, inexpensive way to create more aerobic fitness and health.
The EAT Resistance Program will help you develop stronger bones and muscles in both your upper and lower body.
Muscles and bones
Over time, without regular use, muscles degenerate and shrink in both size and strength. Lifting and moving is essential to reversing this trend and preserving your muscle mass. When you exercise your muscles, you’ll notice:
- Better strength and function
- Improved bone density
- Stronger overall stance and posture
- Maximal calorie burning
- Better cardiovascular health
- Greater long-term flexibility
You can find details, regimens, and tracking charts for the NEAT and EAT Systems in Dr. A’s Habits of Health.