The Ripple Effect Program Home Page

KEY POINTS:

1. Physical activity strengthens your immune system to help fight off bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens - regular consistent exercise reduces your chances of getting sick.

2. Less is more: A moderate amount of exercise (5-6 hours per week) reduces your risk of illnesses and infections, while a high volume and intensity of exercise can compromise your immune system. 

3. Close social bonds also decreases your risk of illness, so exercising with a friend or family member gives you a double boost of immunity!

“Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” -Edward Stanley

In my first Move More message, I indicated that sitting makes us unhealthy. Today’s message – which is one of my mantras – is that a little change goes a long way. That’s why I always focus on being 1% better. You can easily do things 1% better. So can I. And a series of 1% changes pay off big time.

For example, 1% of your day is 15 minutes. 15 minutes of exercise is enough to reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer by 24-50% - if you do it consistently!

So about sitting: every 20 minutes or so, stand up and stretch and move around. Sprinkle small amounts of movement throughout the day. You will think more clearly, feel energized, and combat the damage that all-day-sitting imposes on your body. And you will be less likely to contract a chronic disease in your lifetime.

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Here’s what else is great about moving more: you strengthen your immune system, which works to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. It’s like chemical and biological warfare inside the body. When the system works well, we fight off invaders and stay healthy. When the system is ineffective, we get sick.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that people who exercise regularly experience fewer illnesses and infections than those who do not.

But here’s a finding that might surprise you: exercising beyond a moderate level does not improve immunity further. Quite the opposite, in fact. When athletes train at an excessively higher intensity than normal for extended periods, they experience a significant increase in illnesses. The immune system is compromised and it's easier to get sick.

If you are a moderate exerciser, you may have noticed that you take fewer sick days than your coworkers. Or you might be the only one of your group of friends who doesn’t catch the cold going around. This isn’t just your imagination. Numerous studies have demonstrated that regular, moderate exercise improves how well your immune system works.

Increase your activity levels to a moderate amount, about five or six hours each week, and you can expect to experience fewer illnesses over the course of the year.

And here’s a fun fact: research from Carnegie Mellon University reported that people with good social bonds (close relationships with friends and family) are less susceptible than others to the common cold. So exercising with friends offers a double boost of health!

So build in some exercise to your routine every day. If you're thinking that you don't have time, remember that by taking a little time up front, you'll be avoiding days and days of illness down the road. If you think that you don't have time to exercise, the reality is that you can't afford not to. 

Bonus Workout of the Day: Check out Adam’s Hotel Room Workout for a quick workout you can do at home or when you’re on the road.

Today's Habit: Decrease your sitting time

We’re going to continue with the same habit as last week - to decrease the time you spend sitting during the day. As a reminder, here are some simple strategies you can use to decrease your sitting time:

1. FOLLOW THE 20/20 RULE: FOR EVERY 20 MINUTES OF SITTING, STAND AND STRETCH FOR 20 SECONDS. IF YOU ARE IN A SPACE THAT DOESN’T DISTURB OTHERS, SET AN ALARM ON YOUR PHONE TO REMIND YOU TO DO THIS.

2. IF YOU TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO WORK, STAND UP INSTEAD OF SITTING DOWN.

3. STAND WHEN MAKING A PHONE CALL THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE YOU TO BE AT YOUR COMPUTER.

You might find that there are some tips that work for you, and some that don’t. You also might have found another strategy we haven’t listed that works for you - that’s great too! Find out what works best and stick to that for the next week.


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