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Regular Exercise is As Important as Eating Well

In my experience, patients who exercise regularly no matter how poorly they eat tend to feel better overall and have better outcomes with treatment. Many people try to eat well hoping to feel better, but they still struggle with their health. Oftentimes, the missing component in their life is exercise.

Why is exercise so important?

The secret is in the mitochondria. Muscles contain very high amounts of energy production centers call mitochondria. When you exercise, you build muscle. When you build muscle, you add billions of new energy sources in your body. New energy centers means you will:

  • Burn more fat

  • Feel more energy

  • Stabilize your blood sugar

What types of exercise are best?

Exercising 2-3 times a week will change your life. Aim to do the following 3 types of exercise each week. Walking on off days is a great way to keep your body moving.

  1. Weight lifting or strength training

  2. High intensity workouts

  3. Stretching or yoga

What if I am too tired to exercise?

If you are too tired to exercise, you may have untreated adrenal fatigue or other conditions. If you have adrenal exhaustion, I recommend that you avoid heavy exercise. Instead try walking, yoga, cycling, and/or swimming for 30 minutes at a time until you can build up to more.

What if I am in too much pain?

I recommend that you get regular acupuncture to treat the inflammation and reduce your pain. Once your pain level is tolerable, you can begin to try walking, yoga, cycling or swimming. Working with a personal trainer or a certified yoga teacher are good options to help you design a strengthening program that is suitable for you.

What are other benefits of regular exercise?

  • Improves Mental & Emotional Health - Exercise was put head to head against antidepressants and did as well.

  • Prevents Dementia

  • Decreases Stress - When you are stressed, cortisol is released from the adrenal glands to help you "survive" the stressful situation. Exercise lowers elevated cortisol levels which brings you back to balance and relaxation.

  • Improves Blood Sugar - Regular exercise helps your blood sugar stay at healthier levels which means a better metabolism and less belly fat.

  • Protects your Heart - Your heart is a muscle like any other muscle in your body. Keep it working by exercising it.

  • Improves Sleep

  • Increases Energy - If you don't overdo it which puts your body into recovery mode, exercise will give you energy.

  • Promotes Detoxification - Sweating, movement, and stretching are great ways to detox.

  • Prevents Bone Loss - Prevent bone loss and osteoporosis by lifting weights. It's that simple.

Nicole Peterson, LAc, MAcOM is a licensed acupuncturist in Ashland, Oregon. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to health through her online blog and at her clinic, Ashland Family Acupuncture. Contact us for an appointment or free consultation. 541-631-9649


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