How Much Exercise is Enough?

In addition to detoxing to rid the body of potentially dangerous toxins and a Biblical raw food diet and supplemental living nutrition to strengthen and nourish our cells, the Hallelujah Diet proclaims the benefits of sunshine, fresh air, purified water, plenty of rest and exercise.

As Michael Donaldson, PhD, Research Director for Hallelujah Diet, says, “The effects of exercise are synergistic with the effects of the Hallelujah Diet—you get more from both of them if you combine them together.”

This article discusses the many benefits of regular exercise, how much you really need and the different types that you might consider.

Exercise: what is it good for?

Dr. Thierry Bouillet, Medical Director of the Institute of Radiotherapy at the Avicenne Medical Center of the University of Paris, is one of a growing number of physicians who believe that exercise can play a valuable role in cancer recovery. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, of Duke University, is one of those physicians. She wrote an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggesting that the cancer relapse rate is reduced by 50 to 60% with exercise.

But the benefits of exercise go well beyond those who are already sick. Dr. Bouillet says that exercise benefits the body in many ways:

  • When it reduces areas that store fat, exercise reduces the areas where toxins are stored that can weaken our cells and make us sick. Exercise also…
  • Modifies and reduces our excess hormones that could stimulate growth of cancers
  • Reduces blood sugar levels and reduces the secretion of insulin and insulin growth factor (IGF) which can cause tissue inflammation and increase the growth and spread of tumors
  • Can even lower the level of inflammation in the blood
  • Has a protective effect on the immune system against stress

Hallelujah Diet’s Dr. Donaldson says that exercise is also an excellent way to:

  • Increase metabolism
  • Get fresh oxygen to the cells
  • Hasten release of metabolic waste products
  • Allow the body’s natural production of life-enhancing endorphins to flood the bloodstream

Dr. Donaldson also says that our bodies are designed for exercise and that “We will not have optimal health without getting our bodies into good physical shape.”

How much exercise do you really need?

But what about losing and maintaining a healthy weight? Isn’t that what most people want from exercise? Isn’t that why they’re often willing to exercise even if they don’t necessarily love it?

Guidelines from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that “Poor diet and physical inactivity, resulting in an energy imbalance (more calories consumed than expended), are the most important factors contributing to the increase in overweight and obesity in this country.” Their guidelines call for at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity to lower the risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoporosis

Russell Pate, PhD, a professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, is keenly aware that some people do exercise 30 minutes daily but still don’t lose excess weight or actually gain weight. They “may need as much as 60 minutes a day,” he says, but he recommends starting with 30 minutes and gradually increasing the length of workouts.

In an article by in The New York Times last spring, Gretchen Reynolds says that “The current broad guidelines from governmental and health organizations call for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to build and maintain health and fitness,” which works out to less than 22 minutes per day. And she cites a major study conducted by researchers at Harvard University, the National Cancer Institute and other institutions, which found that:

  • People who don’t exercise at all are at greatest risk of early death.
  • Those who exercised a little but did not meet the 150-minute-weekly guideline still lowered the risk of premature death by 20%.
  • Those who met the guideline “enjoyed greater longevity benefits and 31 percent less risk of dying during the 14-year period” of the study “compared with those who never exercised.”
  • The greatest benefits came to those who exercised moderately, “mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little less than an hour per day.” They were “39 percent less likely to die prematurely” than people who don’t exercise.
What kinds of exercise are recommended?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that we all need two types of physical activity: aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities. Aerobic activity, which might include walking quickly, running, cycling and swimming:

  • Involves repetitive use of large muscles to increase heart rate and respiration
  • Improves cardio-respiratory fitness when performed consistently

For muscle strengthening, all major muscle groups—legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms—should be worked on two or more days each week. Many people engage in muscle-strengthening activities every other day with a day in between to rest the muscles. You can strengthen your muscles with:

  • Weight resistance machines (found in fitness facilities)
  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Pushups and pull-ups

Dr. Donaldson of Hallelujah Diet also recommends stretching to increase flexibility. He says that stretching:

  • Allows the muscles to expand and the body to become more limber with a greater range of motion
  • May improve alignment of the spine as well
  • Helps to present strained muscles and soreness before and after other forms of exercise
  • Can relieve stress

Dr. Donaldson says that resistance and aerobic exercise helps to “release growth hormone into circulation.” This is a “youth hormone and helps the body maintain or regain a youthful appearance” through an “increase in lean mass and a loss of fat.” He also emphasizes that resistance exercise strengthens the bones as well as the muscles.

It’s best to combine exercise and a healthy diet

Dr. Donaldson is among many experts who believe that a combination of a nutrient-rich diet and exercise is more effective for weight loss than diet alone. To lose weight, an hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on most days is recommended. Of course, a healthy diet is also important for both losing and maintaining optimal weight. The amount of exercise you need depends on what you eat.

If you want to lose or maintain healthy weight and achieve and sustain optimal health, you should combine exercise and a healthy diet consisting mostly of raw fruits and vegetables and supplemental living nutrition to supply the nutrients that we need, yet can’t get from diet alone. This combination is what makes the Hallelujah Diet so effective.

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One comment

  1. thanks for the 21 day challenge to walk every day for 20 minutes.. Began today to chart my course..and hope to lose some inches for it.
    Kathy

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