The key to healthly exercise is just that.Let’s take another look at why we should exercise so we can hold a green fitness key.Today I find that humans are far too sedentary, all too
often sitting in front of a computer by day, followed by
sitting in front of a TV at night. This lack of physical
activity causes emotional and physiological imbalances,
but we can change this by looking at how we exercise; improving your
fitness changes your chemistry, acts as a powerful antidepressant, promotes
mental clarity, and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
If you’re not happy with either how you look or feel about your weight,
then with correct guidance, you can break out of inactivity and be rewarded
by smiling at yourself whenever you see your reflection. I will guide you towards 4 green keys to health and tonight is fitness.
You can learn more about how and when you should
exercise, as getting the correct mix can extend your life.
When I am working at my clinic, I hear echoing around the walls: I am too
old to exercise, too old to work. Are you too old to exercise? Well, no one told
Jiroemon Kimura (born 1897) that he was too old. He passed away recently
at age 116, farming until he was 90 years old. Remember the Carry On films?
Well, did you know that Barbara Windsor carries on exercising in her late 70s?
You can find her in her gym wear keeping fit outside in Hyde Park.
Over 450,000 people in the USA and over 70,000 people in the UK risk total
knee replacement every year. Want to talk pain? Then talk TKR. What’s
worse is that it is unsuccessful 10% of the time, and you can even die from
having total knee replacement. Furthermore, the age for TKR is constantly
dropping. Why? Anybody want to hazard a guess? That’s right: obesity.
Now, this isn’t proven yet, but it is most likely the biggest cause.
So, what happens when you get fat? Ladies, take the ‘C’ off chips and you
know what you get! Guys, you put it on around the waist and lose sight of
your favourite toy! What you probably don’t know is that your knees are
loaded with up to four times your weight, so every extra stone (14 lbs) is
an extra four stone (56 lbs) on your knees – that’s why knees are so often
the first casualty with OA. If you want to know why the four times multiple
occurs, it’s because of leverage. Now, you are intelligent people, and you are
surely interested in health or you wouldn’t be here. So, why have you made
the decision to get arthritis? Made the decision to get lots of pain? Made
the decision to risk surgery and even death? It’s because much of the pain
associated with the pleasure of eating too much is too far away, and anyway,
going to the gym is a pain for most. We need to change the way we think
about exercise, and hopefully this chapter will go some way to doing that
Here’s some more cheery news: an in-depth study into retirement found
that men in their sixties are every bit as good at driving business than those
physically and mentally in their prime. In later life, prescriptive exercise is
more effort than swallowing a pill, but it is well worth it; in a nutshell, you get
less senility and less pain. Exercise weaves its magic, strengthening the heart,
releasing more neurotransmitters for cell communication, boosting BDNF
for improving neural connections in the brain, aiding metabolism, improving
blood flow, stimulating toxic disposal systems, and strengthening bones.
This next fact gets me out running in howling gales and rain: current research
in Sweden shows that exercise alters the way genes work in the tissue that
stores fat, and changes in adipose tissue storage sites were measurable even
with just two workouts a week. Epigenetics has always fascinated me since
studying biology, and this is the study of how chemical alterations will
change how genes work in a cell. This allows us to fine tune our body to a
Exercise alters this process in muscle cells and improves how sugar is
processed. Furthermore, adipose tissue (fat cells) is an organ in its own right, producing active chemicals that have profound effects on the body. In
this tissue, 18,000 markers were found on 7,663 genes! This is leading to a
greater understanding of why exercise helps fatty tissue do its job properly,
which means that as we get older, we don’t have to have such a lumpy,
bumpy body. This smooth body needs a good structural support.
Exercise is vital for healthy ageing, so get out of that chair! When we slouch
in our chairs, we don’t breathe correctly, we have less lung capacity, less
oxygen, a poorer blood flow, a weaker heart, and less nutrient delivery.
Smooth muscles tighten up to take up the slack, and our blood pressure
readings go up. Blood flow can’t accommodate sudden movements anymore,
so dizziness follows, and with it, increased accidents. Men’s sexual potency
falls, the gut slows, and digestion fails. Sugar metabolism struggles andcc
diabetes is more likely to take hold. In an article in Psychological Medicine,
Dregan and M.C Gulliford wrote about how intense exercise helps brain
function (Dregan & Gulliford, 2013), so you can remember where you put
your gym wear! Get my drift?
Here are some more facts I sourced for you to back up reasons to exercise
– for all you academic buffs out there. Whether you are old or young,
‘it’s widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. The
government recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week,
between the ages of 19 and 64’ (Dregan, 2013). A word to the wise – if you
don’t exercise at all, start. If you are new to exercise, start small and just walk
a little further than usual. Exercise doesn’t have to mean enduring lengthy,
intense programmes or taking up a gym membership, although I think the
discipline of going and the social angle is great. If you are exercising on your
own, you still need to add in working out with weights as well as aerobic
exercise, such as walking.
Did you know that at 44 years old, without exercising, we are at the peak
depressive age? However, at 70 – if we follow a fitness programme – it is
possible to be as physically fit and happy as we were when we were 20!
Another study got a group of 60 year olds to start doing three long swims a
week, and their medical measurements and tests were those of 40 year olds.
Exercise is much like medicine – it doesn’t have to taste nice, but the outcome
is more than worth it. Being disciplined about getting your exercise is your
key to longevity, so exercise regularly and effectively. Most people will say
they don’t like it, that it’s boring or painful, that they have no time to do it,
but they’re just in denial for the need to move. Well, couch potatoes, here
are some more facts for you:
• A study looked at 50 elderly people of an average age of 87.
Given a 10 week weights workout at this age, they doubled their muscle
Traffic light approach to health, what do I mean ?Traffic Light Approach to Health
At my clinic, I always ask my patients to fill in a questionnaire about their
current health, and their answers are incredibly useful in letting me see
where they need to improve their mindset, their nutrition, their fitness and
their lifestyle. I call it the traffic light approach to health because we analyse
these areas by saying whether the patient is green (good), amber (room for
improvement) or red (poor). These are your fitness keys, and they will tell
you where you need to improve. With this in mind, I have developed four
questionnaires – one for each key – and have placed them in the appendix
of this book. If you want to get the most out of this book, I urge you to
complete the questionnaire at the start of each chapter, and again after
you’ve absorbed the knowledge and implemented some of my suggested
changes into your life. Soon, you should start to see your traffic light scores
changing from red or amber to green on all counts. When this happens, you
are likely to be at your optimal health for your age, which means you’ll be
giving yourself the best possible chance if a disease or injury should occur.
So, to those therapists and doctors who want to go beyond their specific
training and look at the synergy of everything they know in order to create
their own map, here is mine.
If you don’t want to commit to a new, healthy you, then now is probably a
good time to leave my blogs. If, however, you desire to work towards a healthy, fit,
pain-free body, here we go. It’s time to take your health into your own hands
and get rid of all the pain that has been holding you back
The 4 keys to health, what is it about? A question that now rings in my ears most days from those that as yet have not read my book.This book is life transforming if you take in the advice and act on it.My dear friend who had always said she would love a book dedicated to her, died yesterday with the book in her room knowing the healing work we started, so many years ago will go on, in this and future books and talks.Rest in peace June.
Everyday I bump into people telling me their life story and how the 4 keys to health has changed the way they think about life and empowered them to make the changes they needed to.This warms my heart, and today it was suggested I regularly blogged about it.
Here is an exert from my book describing what it is about.
I have spent my life searching for ways to treat pain, and I have travelled
all over the world, meeting and learning from countless specialists and
professionals during this quest of mine. Now, I want to pour all of that
knowledge and all of my experience into this book, so that my methods can
become your methods, and so that you can conquer your pain, allowing
you to have a long, happy life. It sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? Well, it
may be simpler than you think.
This book will discuss healing through an understanding of how neuroscience
works, and I believe that this holds the keys to wellness, mental excellence,
physical fitness, prosperity, relationship skills, society contribution and
having a purpose to live – not to mention, of course, keeping out of pain. I
like to imagine all of these things as breaking down into four main sections:
the four keys of health, featuring mindset, nutrition and hydration, fitness,
and lifestyle. You will be able to read about each of these four keys in the
following chapters, and you can learn about the fifth key – how to deal with
individual health problems – in my next book, The Human Garage. This
will talk about what is lovingly nicknamed the ‘clinic of last resort’ by my
Drawing from both modern medical technology and ancient healing
wisdom, this book will guide you through your health journey, giving you
the knowledge and the tools you need to create the best lifestyle for you. Say
goodbye to pain and say hello to a fitter, healthier, happier you.
Pain can be a result of injury, but in many cases how much pain we feel is a consequence of the decisions we make through our lives and is governed by our beliefs. How we deal with life’s challenges, what we choose to eat and drink, including the quality of antioxidants and minerals, how much effort we put into exercise, posture and weight control, how much sleep we give ourselves – all these are choices of which we are in control.
Unfortunately, most of us make choices which will at some point promote pain. Fortunately, the body is always attempting to regulate pain impulses and heal. With knowledge we can work with, rather than against this process and feel less pain.
How Do We Feel Pain
We have a myriad of tiny receptors all over our body, which pass information to sensory nerves and then to the spinal cord. The pain impulse continues up the spinal cord to the thalamus in the brain, which acts like a router and in effect makes ‘phone calls’ to three other parts of the brain:
- Sensory Cortex interprets nature of pain
- The mammalian Amydala assesses level of fear/emotion and decides if parts of the body need to shut down to prioritise fight or flight.
- The Cortex is the human part of the brain which finalises the decision process
Hence our brains really do decide, like a panel of judges, how much pain is appropriate for us to experience at any time. Pain is then translated into how much we hurt.
Although we naturally want to avoid pain, this acts as an important and in some cases critical feedback. Pain is a warning signal that something is wrong and should stimulate a response to change activity to not repeat the cause of the pain. Thus if something is wrong and we block the pain, the risk is that we could continue an activity which is harming us.
Imagine you are driving a slow, small car and you are waiting to turn onto a highway and big lorry after big lorry goes past and stops you continuing your journey.
Now translate that analogy, this time the pain signal being the car and other, more powerful signals being the lorries. If we can provide a continuous supply of powerful signals the pain never gets out to the spinal cord and up to the brain.
This is called pain gate theory and goes some way to explaining how and why we can reduce pain. What’s the first thing you do if you hurt your hand in some way? Most of us will shake it. This sends stronger signals to the brain than the pain and so blocks the pain.
Endorphins – The Body’s Natural Pain Killer
Endorphins are released at the point where the pain signals reach the spinal cord and prevent more pain signals being released. It is this process which prevents pain getting through immediately, sometimes after a serious injury. This “endorphin rush” allows an athlete to persist through pain.
Ten Top Tips To Reduce Pain
- 1.Massage– nice sensations travel seven times faster than pain impulses and block the pain.
- 2.Acupuncture raises endorphin levels and blocks pain at the gate. Also it can be linked to electro acupuncture to boost the long term effect.
- 3.Nutritious food and supplements. The correct food products are required to make amino acids which are essential to pain-killing hormones. Minerals and anti-oxidants all reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Too many carbs/sugars metabolise into pain products: reducing the calories reduces the pain. Less obesity – less pain. If the cell is healthy, nutrient rich and properly hydrated, with few toxins, pain is an unwelcome guest.
- 4.Reiki and meditation are known to change the brain wave frequency and biochemistry. New research suggests the state of mind has an impact on DNA transcription and chronic pain. Self-healing methods like these can focus the subconscious mind on reducing both stress and pain.
- 5.Review your lifestyle and regulate levels of stressful/fearful activity will boost positive emotional activities. Understand your natural bio rhythms to make the best of your time awake. – makes you more productive and less stressed
- 6.Improve your posture, especially sitting, enables the large core muscles to take load off the back.
- 7.Taking regular exercise boosts feel good pain killing endorphin levels, boosts metabolism, and helps to reduce obesity – fat cells store toxins and enhance pain. Many studies prove correct exercise significantly reduces painful chronic illness and mortality.
- 8.Tens, is a portable hand-held, medically-endorsed device sends frequencies, 2HZ to 150HZ, through the sensory nerves to block the pain gate and boost happy bio-chemistry, such as serotonins and endorphins to kill pain, reduce depression and help sleep. The Tens electrodes can be placed along a nerve root and onto a painful point, or on to specific acupuncture points. With professional guidance, good quality Tens can significantly boost the effects of pain treatment.
- 9.Consider hypnosis. This fascinating and controversial subject can significantly reduce pain when practiced by an experienced therapist. People have even had surgery whilst under hypnosis.
- 10.A warm bath with alkaline salts and aromatherapy, especially lavender helps with sleep.
For more information about Nicky Snazell’s Pain Relief Clinic call 01889 881488 or visit www.painreliefclinic.co.uk