Bust a move to live.
Stressed out women can reduce their risk of stroke by 40%, just by walking. With moves from PBS featured program, and they can also “step away the inches.”
By David Martin, RN, CEO and President, VeinInnovations
Our bodies are literally born to move. Stay still long enough, and healthy people and hospital patients alike are subject to developing blood clots, bedsores, and a host of other problems.
Movement is crucial to help the body pump blood, lymph, hormones, and other fluids. That is why, after surgeries, doctors and nurses are eager to have patients get up and moving as soon as possible.
Walking, especially when at a bit faster pace, also helps lower blood pressure, increase heart strength, cleanse the body of toxins, oxygenate the brain, produce feel-good hormones, stabilize blood sugar, increase or maintain muscle mass and bone density, maintain or increase the sense of balance, balance hormones, and increase energy levels. With so many benefits to walking, and exercise, many physicians remain confounded by their patients’ reluctance to get up and move.
“I tell patients all the time – you don’t have to jump up and down to exercise effectively – just getting out and walking briskly will decrease your risk of stroke by 40 percent,” says Sheila Robinson, MD, an Atlanta cardiologist.
A scan of popular articles on why people don’t exercise reveals a host of reasons why people, especially women, avoid something proven to be good for them. Tops among them: getting sweaty, messing up their hair, embarrassment to be seen in exercise clothes, not knowing how to get started, hurting after they exercise, and getting hurt while exercising.
For people who get hurt while exercising, which often happens if they go at it full force and then have to stop due to injury, even the thought of starting again evokes anxiety.
Exercise expert Teresa Tapp is featured on Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations across the country with her method to “fully activate more muscles with each movement.” Tapp believes she has found a key to helping women overcome their reluctance to exercise.
“If women can exercise in the privacy of their own homes – or even discretely at their desks at work – and not have to have special equipment, clothes, or shoes, they can start to see the benefits of movement in mood and stress reduction, and perhaps get over their resistance,” says Tapp.
What began for Tapp as a way to help chemotherapy patients activate the body’s elimination systems to move chemo drugs out of the body and help relieve muddled thinking many patients call “chemo brain”, blossomed into a program used today by millions – from top models to kindergartners.
For many years Tapp worked in Europe with top modeling agencies, helping models use her health and fitness program to look and feel their best.
After Ballantine Books published her book in 2004, Tapp took the exercise method into the Florida public school system, teaching students and teachers how to fit fitness in during classes. With so many schools reducing or eliminating physical education and recess, Tapp wanted to show that just five minutes of T-Tapp exercise, performed standing next to a desk, could help students improve heart rate, focus, and brain-body fitness. Tapp was recognized by Florida’s governor for her efforts, and has continued her work with schools.
Cardiologist Robinson likes the idea of adding movement to the lives of her patients, saying movement can help with stress relief. Stress is listed as a top health concern by 43 percent of Americans.
“Especially for African American women, there is tremendous stress in the environment, and stress makes everything worse. One in three African Americans has hypertension. Over 60 percent of African American women are overweight. African Americans are seven times more likely to lose their kidneys from hypertension and diabetes. And stroke is a significant cause of death and disability, especially in African American women. When African American women have coronary heart disease, (heart attack disease) we die two-to-three times more often than women of other races.”
Additional stress for women of all races comes from single parenting, economic factors, and caregiving for several generations of family members at one time. For African American women in particular, Dr. Robinson says a lack of access to medical care, and the lack of education on matters of health, nutrition, and fitness, contribute to the greater likelihood of African American women suffering from cardiovascular illness.
“These environmental factors play a large role. In exacerbating the underlying hereditary predisposition for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Robinson says.
“However, if you level the playing field – and remove all the impediments for African American women, so there is no problem with access to care, not a problem with education and affordability, we still see more disproportionate cardiovascular disease in African Americans, because of the higher risk profile,” she adds.
“Even though exercise helps reduce the risk factors in all of these diseases, for many women who are working multiple jobs, caring for children, grandchildren, and their parents, and struggling to make ends meet, the idea of exercising at the end of a long day is just not there. They don’t put focus on themselves after caring for others all day. Especially for them, a little exercise would be a great stress reliever, and provide other good health benefits.” Dr. Robinson says.
And this is where Teresa Tapp’s exercise program could be particularly helpful, as many of her recommendations, and the “how to do it” can be found on YouTube, so adding these movements in by watching them and following along, even on a cell phone, could be helpful.
“We have a walking program called Step Away the Inches that is perfect for people to do in-home. These simple movements, done while walking or marching in place, help raise the heart rate — provided exercisers are not leaning forward, but instead have their shoulders back. This is much more effective than walking at an incline on a treadmill. This method and combination of movements accelerate the elimination of toxins, so everyone can experience greater loss of fat and inches, more so than with traditional walking programs,” says Tapp.
Tapp’s most recent PBS special, Vibrant For Life, will be shown locally on Saturday, April 2, at 4 p.m., on PBA 30, and again on Sunday, April 3, 4:30 a.m.
According to Alicia Steele of PBA 30, Vibrant for Life will be shown multiple times during the station’s May pledge drive.
Further, local T-Tapp master trainer Renee McLaughlin will be on the Dana Barrett Show at biz1190 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23, at 9 a.m.
For more information:
The Real Reason We Don’t Exercise
6 Things That Will Happen When You Stop Working Out
Why Do People Quit Fitness Programs?
T-TAPP on YouTube
Vibrant for Life
Dana Barrett Show, Biz1190