Recent publications and news items show that moderate exercise works with good diet to enhance immune systems. It does not take much. Just walking a few miles per week can help prevent cancers in various parts of the body, as an example.
I’m not a body builder, although I respect people who are. My ideal is to keep a slender, wiry body, such as a runner or swimmer. Typically I spend only 15 to 45 minutes per day, which is nothing compared to an Arnold Schwarzenegger work out.
Here’s my basic routine.
After breakfast and before my shower, at least 20 to 30 pushups, then 20 to 30 knee curls. For the curls, I lie on my back and draw my knees to almost touch my chest. After my shower, long enough for my arms to recover a bit, I do at least 15 to 20 chinups from an in-door-way bar.
Thus, I have stimulated my arm and chest muscles, abdomen, and lower back. If I have any lower back aches, which can happen from too much sitting, I tilt my pelvis back and forth, either while still on my back or standing, 10 to 30 times. By the way, this stretcher can be done nearly any where, if one does not make the moves very obvious.
Depending on my mood, available time, and weather, I do one of the following.
#1. As a break from any work, I take at least a 30 minute brisk walk, which covers about 1.8 to 2 miles in my neighbor-hood. While walking, I occasionally rotate my wrists, or wiggle them in all directions, to head off repetitive stress syndrome. I also ease my shoulders by moving them up / down and front / back, or stretching my arms out and rotating them.
#2. If weather or darkness discourage an outdoors walk, and no shopping center is handy, I ride my Schwinn[tm] air-dyne bicycle which pits both my arms and legs against resistance from a paddle wheel. This is the only expensive exercise equipment I own, and can be found used on the web. Five minutes with the meter above half scale is a workout. Or I could use a lower challenge but for longer time.
If I have the time, and need to burn off calories or tension, I have a whole range of low cost choices, from mild office stretches to aggressive army calisthenics. For details, see my “Easy Exercise All Ages”.
Just a few of the conditions resisted by exercise are:
angina, arthritis, breast cancer, colon cancer, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, depression, gallstone disease, heart attack, high blood cholesterol, high blood triglyceride, hypertension, lessened cognitive function (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease), low blood HDL, lower quality of life, obesity, osteoporosis, pancreatic cancer, peripheral vascular disease, physical frailty, premature mortality, prostate cancer, sleep apnea, stiff joints, stroke, type 2 diabetes, spinal injury, weak bones, and more.
All without drugs. What a pleasant surprise!