The most powerful and cheapest medicine available to us today is the only medicine that must be self-administered. You do not need a prescription, but if you have any health issues, you should talk to your physician before using it. When taken regularly, the dosage goes up and you may become an addict (in a good way, of course). However, you should be aware of the side effects of this medication and how serious they are:
✔️positive effects on our biology including molecular, cellular and neuropsychiatric
✔️enhances insulin sensitivity
✔️increases muscle mass
✔️promotes increase in bone density
✔️increases joint integrity and tendon strength
✔️you won’t shoot your husband
This really is a wonder drug!
Elle Woods can explain:
From the film “Legally Blonde” starring Reese Witherspoon. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and stream it now.
If you find it odd that I refer to exercise as a drug, keep reading. A typical drug or medication is used to treat things like blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, inflammation, etc. It will not, however, make one healthier. It modifies our physiology and calms our symptoms and may even add months or years to our life.
Dr. Jonathon Sullivan, MD, wrote the book “The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40.” He says “Let there be no misunderstanding: I am a physician, and I am glad we have these drugs. Patients with hypertension need blood pressure medication. Patients with diabetes need insulin or oral hypoglycemics to control their glucose. Antidepressants, analgesics, vasopressors, hormonal therapies, anticancer agents, antibiotics –without them, my ability to relieve pain and preserve life and limb would be no better than that of a premodern apothecary peddling leeches and mercury. But I am painfully aware of the limitations of these agents. Modern drugs don’t get to the root of the problem. And they never will. Because health will never come in a pill. No drug in the world will ever match the power of exercise medicine. No drug in the world will ever confer so many beneficial effects to so many organ systems, at so little cost, with so few side effects.”
In my late teens and 20’s I exercised because the high school sports that kept me active were over and I wanted to keep myself in shape. In my 30’s I exercised to lose the baby weight. I had my daughter at 31, my son at 34, and in my late 30’s I noticed my metabolism slowing. I began to modify my workouts with less cardio and more strength training. Muscle is metabolically active tissue; the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism. Women often think that they need lots of cardio to get in shape or to lose weight, where in fact too much cardio can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism. According to Dr. Sullivan, strength training can slow and even reverse some of the effects of aging unlike aerobic exercise alone.
Now, at 45 years old, I can say that I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. Yes, my body has changed and I look different; age and birthing children can do that. But, I am certain that my 20-year-old self wouldn’t stand a chance against me now. My priorities are different and I no longer work out to look a certain way. I work out for my health; physical health including strength, flexibility, endurance, for mental clarity, and most importantly, for the endorphins so that I don’t shoot my husband [insert laugh, that’s a joke].
So, how do you come up with a plan for what type of exercise is right for you? With so many options; gyms, clubs, classes, streaming, and the decades old “as seen on tv” home exercise equipment, it can be very confusing, frustrating and expensive figuring out what works best for you. If you’re serious about incorporating exercise into your life, or you feel that your current routine isn’t working, I highly recommend that you read the above-mentioned book by Dr. Sullivan, especially if you’re in your late 30’s and older. Next, think about your goals, what you’re trying to achieve and find something that you enjoy doing, or rather, don’t despise so that you’ll stick with it. Consistency is the key to improved health and increased strength. It’s also important to monitor your progress and gradually increase the intensity or weight, otherwise your progress will plateau. Your body and your overall health is not Amazon Prime. It won’t show up in two days. It takes dedication and consistency.
For me, exercise is separate from activities and hobbies that get my body moving. Jumping on the trampoline with my kids is fun, and funny to them, but it does not replace the hard-core exercise that I set aside time for each day. I take my dog for walks, or runs as he prefers it, but I don’t consider that exercise either, it’s living.
What we do today plays a significant role in how our bodies operate years from now. As Dr. Sullivan said, health will never come in a pill. Give yourself some medicine, be it a little or a lot. Start with low doses if you must, but just start. Your older self will thank you.
Post Workout Smoothie
Smoothies are a great post workout meal because they’re easy and fast to make. When you incorporate a good combination of nutrients from fruits and vegetables, good fats, carbs, protein and superfoods like flax seed and maca powder, your body is replenished of all that was lost during the workout.
1 cup almond milk
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ frozen banana
2 tablespoons flax seed
1 teaspoon maca
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
Protein powder (I use 2 tablespoons of my favorite pure whey protein)
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!