Activity & Exercise Articles Lifestyle

Exercise Anywhere: Fitness Routines for Disease Prevention

At Digital Nomad Health, we’re all about disease prevention. The disease you prevent is the disease you don’t have to treat. Today, I’ll discuss fitness routines for disease prevention.

The current healthcare system offers customers health insurance, which is really illness insurance, to prevent them from suffering a major financial catastrophe. But relying on this system to achieve health is a bad idea – it’s just not what it’s designed to do. Exercise, however, can help you achieve health.

Chronic Disease Prevention Through Exercise

Those who are active, as opposed to sedentary, will have more efficient mitochondria, muscle tissue, joint mobility, mental clarity, and cardiometabolic stamina.

Exercise doesn’t have to run on a treadmill until you throw up. No need to cycle up a hill until you get palpitations. Anyone can achieve a high level of exercise capacity, but it takes time. And it’s the journey that’s more important than the destination.

I’m 46 and fairly active, except on days when I have a lot of work on my desk. On these sedentary days, I need to rely on my cardiometabolic health to get me through. My biggest chronic disease risks are:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Dementia
  3. Cancer
  4. Diabetes
  5. Joint degeneration

I’m not obsessed with preventing any of these, but I also don’t want to live an unconsciously detrimental lifestyle to my overall health. A good fitness routine can help prevent major chronic diseases, so exercise is part of my routine.

Defining Exercise

I break exercise down into 3 categories:

  1. Strength
  2. Endurance
  3. Balance

Strength is the health of my muscular tissue and is meant to generate power. It’s important for many aspects of metabolism, fall prevention, and living pain-free.

Endurance is my ability to engage in activities that require a lot of energy for long periods of time. This includes house chores, home repairs, a 12-hour urgent care shift, a long travel day, a mental tasking task, and helping a friend move.

Balance is my ability to move through my environment pain-free and without the risk of injury. The primary factor that sets successful professional athletes apart from their competitors is their ability to prevent injuries and recover from them quickly. Balance helps achieve just that, along with building neurovascular capabilities.

There is little value in obsessing over which to do more of. They are all important, and doing any one will improve the other. I’ve written more about exercise in other articles.

Fitness Routines for Disease Preventions

Adding a fitness routine to a busy life is a challenge. I help my clients find clever ways to get exercise no matter how busy their lives are.

Tools needed:

  1. Proper shoes
  2. Fitness attire
  3. Exercise bands
  4. Weights

Perhaps the most important tool is motivation – the desire to want to have a certain health outcome based on your own particular motivating factor.

Shoes are critical because if you have the wrong shoes, you won’t go for a lunch walk or tackle those stairs between meetings. Wide shoes with minimal solage are ideal.

If you are wearing fancy attire, you won’t want to sweat in it. If your skirt is too tight or your dress pants too crotchy, you’ll stay put in your chair. You can purchase dress-style activewear or just change your wardrobe style.

I have THERABAND exercise bands because quality matters. There are lots of great brands to choose from, but don’t cheap out on this—there are lots of options. These bands are incredibly versatile, and you can use them for scapula work, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

It’s also helpful to have some weights around. You can buy kettlebells or adjustable dumbells. I prefer a travel rucksack, which you can load with weights. It’s versatile enough for travel but you can add weighted plates and use it for exercise at home.

Fitting Your Needs

Do you need more aerobic capacity? Are you lacking in muscle power? Is your mobility, flexibility, and stability lacking?

Focus on what you need most; I promise the rest will fill itself in. If you need more mobility and flexibility, start with some stability exercises, which will surely give you good muscle strength.

My cardio is often lacking since rock climbing, for me, is more about power and less about endurance. I make it a habit to jump on my bike and run errands or commute to the gym.

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