Kay starts the Marines run May 2013

Lord, I’ve got to keep on moving… —Bob Marley 

Move for health and long life

By Roger Childs

All the research spells out that movement and exercise has got to be good for you. 

Whether it’s yoga, stretching, strength training, running, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing … moving is great for lowering stress, making you healthier and increasing life expectancy.

There are plenty of myths about exercise. How about putting stress on the joints? A recent America study from Bringham Young University found that running is actually good for your knees. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle.

The benefits of moving and flexibility

 By choosing healthy habits every day, we can create a gene activity pattern that is more beneficial for our health. —Ivana Buric, Coventry University 

In her scientific studies, she found that regular exercise and, what she calls practising mindfulness, reduces stress. She recommends yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and tai chi as ways of improving mental and physical health.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany fitness professionals and academics recommend 150 minutes (2½ hours) of exercise a week to  maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Local Kapiti sports coach Murray Ashley, trains people from teenage to early seventies and sets weekly programmes. He emphasizes that flexibility is important. 

Particular activities don’t have to be done on specific days. Bad weather, domestic responsibilities, school or work commitments and unexpected events may mean that the set programme needs to be adjusted. The important thing is completing the weekly schedule. At the end of the week his athletes work out what percentage of the programme was done.

Exceeding expectations

You may be settling into a fitness programme or may have been exercising and training for years. 

Whatever, there is always the opportunity to expand your horizons.

Going beyond what you’ve planned has got to be good for your morale and self confidence. It may be extending how far you walk, run or ride, or challenging yourself to do more in the gym.

Exercise and training should always be manageable, however it is easy to convince yourself that you’ve done enough. 

ebikes 1If you ride an electric-bike don’t forget to pedal! Just use the “engine” for going uphill.

There is tremendous satisfaction in going the extra mile: doing an extra block; going for an hour rather than 50 minutes; lifting a heavier weight; adding an extra repetition in the gym.

A friend who was training for a half marathon recently planned to do a run of about 23 km. He missed the turn off from the Kapiti expressway track and got home having done 29.4 km. So he threw in another block to get up to 30 km. 

Way to go!