Spring has sprung, have you been noticing more of your neighbors out for walks, are you feeling the urge to go climb Mt. Pisgah or check out the falls at Bryce creek? 

I sure am, and while we again had a relatively mild winter, it always seems like it is dark and gloomy forever. 

Regular exercise is as important (and some studies suggest even more important) for our health as eating healthy, minimally processed and nutrient dense food along with getting that restful nights sleep. Most people report feeling better on the days that they exercise, especially when they get outside. Their joints work better, they have less aches and pains, and best of all they boast having more energy! 

When it comes to exercise, have you ever heard the phrase “no pain – no gain”? This common phrase may be what is keeping you from exercising. You might think, I can’t do strenuous exercise, so why bother! There is plenty of research that reports that a brisk, purposeful walk 20 minutes at least three times a week can greatly improve your health, well being, and stamina. Some of the benefits the studies report are: 

Increased oxygen in the blood, which will improve your energy level and cognitive functions such as concentration and memory.

More efficient detoxification down to the cellular level, as you walk your lungs, and sweat glands assist in toxin removal. Get that sludge out!!

As you walk or run your lymph system is stimulated to remove harmful toxins from your body and strengthen your immune system. Try walking while holding/swinging 2 lb. hand weights to enhance this lymphatic function. Our lymph does not have a pump like our blood does, so movement is the only way to keep that lymph on the move!

Moderate exercise supports weight loss, and muscle toning. As we get older, it gets harder to maintain that muscle tone ... it won’t happen sitting in that recliner.

Walk in your neighborhood, you may see some neighbors, friends, smell the flora growing around you, look around and notice what you are passing, you will feel more relaxed and in turn energized! 

Many fitness coaches recommend we do some simple stretching before and after we exercise. This helps to relax and lengthen our muscles, and can help prevent injuries. 

So, I’d like to offer you this challenge: for the next thirty days, get at least a 20-minute walk with some stretching at least three times a week, make more nutritious choices for your meals, and let me know how much better, more vibrant you feel after this challenge.

Yaakov Levine is a licensed nutritional therapist. You can contact him at [email protected]