By Dr. Yekaterina Karpitskaya
Want to feel better, have more energy, and live longer? A healthy lifestyle, including routine physical activity, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The direct physical, mental and spiritual benefits of physical activity are interrelated and undeniable when it comes to living your best life.
Exercise is a form of meditation. It allows you to collect your thoughts and reach out to the divine. It gives you a burst of endorphins and elevates your heart rate. It gives you a sense of satisfaction. It allows you to connect with nature and marvel at the miracle of creation. Plus, it is difficult to have negative or self-defeating thoughts when you are in the middle of a brisk walk across the Ocean Springs bridge at sunset or running on a trail surrounded by trees filled with bright autumn colors.
Moderate and frequent exercise has multiple health benefits — weight loss, decreased blood pressure and lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Weight-bearing exercise also promotes bone health and slows down the inevitable progression of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Physical activity makes you feel happy and productive. You do not need much equipment to go for a run or a walk — all you need is a pair of comfortable running shoes and a cozy workout outfit (here is an excuse to go shopping).
So get out there, take a walk or go for a run! Thirty minutes, three times a week — less than 1 percent of your time — will help you live a more balanced, longer and happier life. When you’re trying to decide whether to go for a walk or not, keep these benefits in mind. Make 2020 your best year yet!
Dr. Karpitskaya joined Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists in 2011. She specializes in general orthopaedics and sports medicine. She is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, double board certified in sports medicine and general orthopaedics and a former member of the United States Air Force. Learn more about her at www.bienvilleortho.com.