Sunday, November 18, 2012

Try This Ancient Magic Cure

Quite simply the best magic pill to look better, feel better and be smarter is vigorous physical movement or in other words, 'exercise.'
For most of our history, movement, and lots of it, was key to human survival. Speed, coordination, dexterity, and strength aided humans from foraging for food to escaping predators. While many animals excel at movement, it is usually limited to excelling at a specific movement such as running for the Cheetah. Through our evolution, humans have mastered many movements and done so fairly well. We can walk, run, swim, climb, do cart wheels and somersaults. We can even swing from trees. We may not do such activities as well as the animals that evolved to do a certain activity extremely well, but as the Olympics demonstrate, humans can do extraordinary things with their bodies.
It is only been in very recent history that we have switched to sedentary lifestyles. Modern conveniences have reduced our need to exert ourselves physically. For many, vigorous physical activity, or exercise, is something you are supposed to do, but never get around to, or do at the gym for a couple of hours a week. But ignoring our ancestral roots comes with a price. Industrialized nations, particularly the United States, suffer from rampant obesity in their population with marked increases in diabetes, heart diseases and certain cancers.
Fortunately there is now a greater understanding of the importance of exercise. Recent research shows that older adults who exercise regularly not only prevent shrinkage in their brain, but can increase its size. This, in turn can reduce the risk of memory loss and perhaps even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. And as Dr. Restak points out in his wonderful book "Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot," research confirms that physical activity, especially those that emphasizes coordination and muscle strength, increases intelligence. If Dr. Restak is correct, than human's physical prowess was a key factor in our intellectual accomplishments.
So what does this mean for you the reader? It means you should embrace your physical side as part of your birth right - as part of your humanity. Find a physical activity you love. Here is some advice, if you look at your exercise or fitness program as a 'workout' and something to be dreaded and to get over with as soon as possible, then choose something else. Exercise should leave you feeling stronger, invigorated, with glowing skin, a clearer mind and a joyful connection to your body and environment. Nothing less than that is acceptable. Swim, run, climb or mimic animals movements in Yoga. And do it with a smile on your face knowing that unlike your ancestors, there is no saber tooth tiger or other predator looking to make you its next meal.
By Kerry Kim, co-owner of Master Kim Wellness Group and Beverly Hills Martial Arts Center. We believe in health through fitness at every age.
To learn more health tips that you can do at home, please visit

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