Have you ever had "back? Then you belong to the eighty percent of Germans who have suffered from low back pain at least once in their lives. Twenty million people in the Federal Republic even have regular complaints of the spine. These manifest themselves in different ways. The spectrum ranges from muscle tension to sciatica problems to slipped discs. The best way of prevention is to exercise regularly.
Regular exercise also helps to prevent the so-called diseases of civilization, which are very often associated with our modern lifestyle: Obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes and hypertension.
Exercise in the right measure is always good for you – and in many cases you can actually achieve an improvement in your state of health.
Exercise and diabetes
The body is designed for movement. If this is missing, its function is also reduced, and diseases such as diabetes can develop. About eight million Germans suffer from this metabolic disorder, which also causes long-term damage to blood vessels and organs such as the heart or eyes. Exercise promotes sugar utilization, and new blood vessels are formed that protect the organs. However, exercise has a preventive effect above all and prevents diseases such as diabetes or heart attacks from developing in the first place. However, if these are already available, the training must be targeted, planned and regular. So do not just start running.
First to the doctor
The earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated, the less consequential damage is caused. Therefore, you should not wait long to see a doctor if you think you have discovered signs of diabetes. The attending physician will decide whether and if so which drug treatments are necessary and which further treatment measures are indicated. It is often enough to eat a healthy, wholesome diet and exercise to bring blood glucose levels back into the normal range.
In almost all patients, obesity is a decisive factor in the development of the disease. Because the body becomes resistant to the body's own hormone insulin as it becomes overweight. By losing weight at an early stage, the metabolism improves and the diabetes can possibly disappear again.
Movement as prevention
In type 2 diabetes, prevention can delay or avoid the onset of the disease. The best way to do this is through regular physical exercise. There is no drug that brings about as many changes in so many diseases as running – and costs nothing at all, to boot.
To make the first step easier, you can join a diabetes sports group, where you can do more for your own fitness under the guidance of trainers from the field of rehabilitation sports. Further information on rehabilitation sports is available from the handicapped person-. Rehabilitation Sports Association of Rhineland-Palatinate e.V.V.
Professional association for rehabilitation, prevention and health sport Rheinau 10 – 56075 Koblenz Tel. 0261 135-250 – Fax 0261 135-259 E-mail – Website
Courage to take the strain through exercise
"Sport is murder" is the motto of many people. Long working days, cold, snow and rain – who should be encouraged to exercise?? If joint pain, serious illnesses such as a heart attack or other complaints are also present, it is even more important to take it easy. But it is precisely in such cases that sporting activity is important for health.
The right exercise counts
Not all sports are the same. Every disease requires an appropriate type of exercise. It is a fallacy to take it easy and avoid any exertion after a heart attack in extreme form. The heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It is important to know which efforts are the right ones to reduce the risk of another heart attack. In a special cardiac sports group, training should be systematic, controlled and structured. But activity in everyday life must also increase – taking the stairs instead of the elevator, bicycling instead of driving, or walking quickly can already help to increase stamina.
Exercise promotes rehabilitation
Scientists confirm what we all know: exercise keeps you healthy. Stem cell research has discovered that regular exercise increases the production of stem cells, which are responsible for the maintenance and regeneration of diseased blood vessels. Training promotes rehabilitation. Up to 10.000 steps daily are the minimum for an active everyday life – however, average office workers make just 400 to 700 steps. A ten-minute walk will already save 1.000 steps taken. The body is designed for movement.
The courage to exercise is very important. Even when, as in the case of lung disease, shortness of breath and anxiety are initially an obstacle. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which occurs in smokers, for example, other organs such as the heart, blood vessels, bones and muscles are also affected. The vicious circle of fear of breathlessness, lack of exercise and deactivation of muscles leads to further diseases and must be broken. Just like medication, sport should be a permanent part of the therapy.
Exercise instead of rest
According to the Federal Statistical Office, cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in Germany, with around 700 deaths per year.000 new cases of widespread disease and cause of death number one. In accordance with the maxim "exercise instead of rest", medically supervised regular sport has been an essential part of therapy recommendations for several decades now.
After all, after a heart attack or other chronic heart disease, regular physical exercise can significantly improve the state of health and quality of life of those affected. The first cardiac sports groups were founded in Rhineland-Palatinate in 1979. Today there are about 350 such medically controlled offers from clubs, adult education centers and rehabilitation clinics with about 7000 participants.
Anyone who can show a corresponding medical prescription can take part in such groups. Among other things, the patient's exercise tolerance must be assessed by a physician.. A list of cardiac sports groups in Rhineland-Palatinate is available on the website of the state association for prevention. Rehabilitation of cardiovascular diseases to be found in Koblenz. To the website
Exercise protects against osteoporosis
In some older people, the back curves, others simply break a rib – both can indicate osteoporosis. In this disease, the bones become more unstable and break more easily. Older women in particular are affected by this condition, which is also known as bone loss. The good news: It's never too late to do something about it.
In osteoporosis, the outer bone layer often becomes thinner than in healthy bones. Also decreases the number of bone bellicles inside and their linkage to each other.
Bone density measurement therefore only partially detects bone fragility. A 20-year-old competitive athlete can have the same bone density as a 70-year-old woman. However, the microarchitecture of the bones is completely different in both women. With the result that the younger person is unlikely to break a bone in a slight fall, but the older person will. Women suffer from osteoporosis more often than men. Menopause can lead to increased bone loss. Responsible for this is the precipitous decline of estrogens. And the risk of bone fracture increases with age. Women over 70 and men over 80 are therefore advised to have their risk of osteoporosis clarified by a doctor. The same applies to people who have fractured a vertebra in an everyday situation, suffered a fracture of the arm, foot, ribs or pelvis, or fallen more than twice in the past year without an external cause.
Prevention through exercise and diet
Osteoporosis is not fate – you can reduce your risk of fracture. The magic word is exercise. Sports in which the body carries its own weight or more are particularly useful. Gentle strength training under supervision or exercise in which the body is subjected to gentle impact – such as jogging – is a good way to do this. Sports with different movement directions, such as dancing and aerobics, train muscles and bones in a particularly versatile way. If you want to strengthen your bones, you should plan two to three exercise sessions per week.
Nutrition also has an influence on bone strength. According to the German Osteological Association (DVO), the recommended amount of calcium is 1000 milligrams (mg) per day. The equivalent of about one glass of milk, two slices of cheese and one yogurt. In addition, vitamin D is especially important. On the one hand, it promotes muscle strength; on the other hand, the body needs vitamin D to be able to absorb calcium.
In the LZG store you can download and order the brochure "Fall prevention through exercise.
How to keep your back healthy
Resilient, mobile and pain-free: That's how fewer and fewer people know their backs. Two-thirds of Germans suffer from occasional back problems, and around one-third even have permanent complaints. But it is very easy to prevent the symptoms: every movement is important and correct.
A well-developed musculature keeps the back stable
If you sit down a lot, you shouldn't be surprised if you experience twinges and pulls around the spine. The spine is an organ of movement with very complex joint structures that need to be moved. It is especially important to strengthen the trunk muscles, because if they are stable, the back is also stable.
This can be achieved through classic spinal gymnastics or gymnastics combined with strength training. In both cases, the focus should be on targeted abdominal and back muscle training. Exercise can be done in a gym, through an adult education center, in a sports club or with another qualified course provider. Exercise with the Theraband, on the mat, with sandbags or the therapy spinning top – in short: with everything that is available in the gym. In general, it is advisable to learn special exercises under supervision first – this helps to avoid mistakes that could be harmful to your health.
Incorporating exercises into everyday life
But if you have some experience, you can certainly practice at home. The easiest way is to integrate a mix of light stretching, coordination and strengthening exercises into everyday life. To stretch the shoulders, clasp the wrist of the other hand with one hand. Pull the arm over the head to the opposite side. Hold the tension for about ten seconds, then it's the other arm's turn. – Coordination is especially required in quadrupedal stance. To do this, kneel down. Put your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground. Then extend the right arm and left leg diagonally, keeping your eyes on the ground. Switch arms and legs after ten repetitions. – The shoulder and back muscles can be strengthened with the help of a gymnastics bar – or even a broomstick if necessary: sit upright on a chair, tilt your pelvis slightly forward and lift your sternum. Grasp the bar with both hands. Extend the arms vertically above the head. Then tilt the upper body forward and turn it alternately from right to left with small, relatively quick movements.
Important: endurance and a healthy mix
But strengthening alone is not everything. A combination of weight training, endurance training and fun sports is ideal. This can be provided, for example, by regular visits to a gym, supplemented by jogging and playing badminton. However, with increasing age it becomes more and more difficult to keep the lower back strong and flexible. For every decade you get older, you have to exercise twice as long as before. This means, for example, that if you did one hour of sport a week when you were 20, by the time you're 30 you'll have to put in two hours..
Exercise from the beginning – the best foundation for long back health
A healthy back should be encouraged from an early age. When a child has a chance to move around a lot, good spinal development is usually ared. The best role models for young people are parents who do a lot of exercise themselves. Children would need to be allowed to run, jump in puddles and balance on logs. You want to experience limits and walk where it is narrow and wobbly.
Finally, walking barefoot is also useful for the back, because the entire posture is built up from the foot. Whether on sand, grass or carpet: walking on the bare sole activates muscle chains all the way up the spine.
Hiking makes you happy
Don't you want to be happy too? Then just go hiking!
According to a scientific study by the German Hiking Association, 83 percent of hikers feel happy and satisfied after a hike. And hikers also make others happy, since they are an economic factor and provide secure jobs. Hikers in Germany spend 7.5 billion euros a year on their favorite leisure activity. 144.000 jobs depend directly on hiking tourism.
Walking goes almost everywhere
If you want to keep fit, you don't have to wait until your next vacation in the Alps. Even half an hour of brisk walking per day promotes health. And a brisk walk around town has similar health benefits as a hike. Exercise as such is important: Men should cover three kilometers in 30 minutes, women the same distance in 35 minutes. City air, which is possibly loaded with exhaust gases, seems relatively harmless thereby. On the one hand, the lungs are a good filter. On the other hand, the disadvantages of being lazy about exercise compared with brisk. Regular walk "around the block" significantly greater.
On non-working days it makes sense to walk even longer distances. When hiking, the stress situation is significantly different than in everyday life. It strengthens the cardiovascular system because blood circulation is stimulated. Breathing volume increases, so more oxygen gets into the body. The cartilage is also strengthened. Gives it a firmer structure. Hiking is also good for your figure, because longer distances change your metabolism. Finally, the "emotional component" should not be underestimated: There is something meditative about the steady motion of walking.
Some results of the study by the German Hiking Association
– 39,8 million Germans wander, that is at least each/r second German over 16 years. – German hikers put down approx. 3.6 billion kilometers covered at home and abroad. – Hiking is independent of gender and age. However, older people walk more regularly: younger walkers tend to walk once or twice a year, walkers over 60 walk several times a month. – The differences between walking and hiking are smaller than thought: those who go for a walk spend an average of 1 hour and 22 minutes, those who say they hike, 2 hours and 39 min. – 90 % of hikers feel "better overall" after a hike, 82.7 % "happy and satisfied", 73.8 % "more mentally balanced". – A total of 370 million day trips are made each year, during which people hike. – Further 8.7 million vacationers are counted, who make at least one migration in the vacation. – 30.3 million overnight stays per year in Germany can be assigned to hiking. – 46% of hikers walk without orientation aids such as maps, compasses or GPS and rely only on the trail markings.
So get going. Germany lies at your feet.
Running out of depression
The positive effect of physical activity on mental illness is now widely recognized. Sport is now integrated into most therapies, and some even believe it can replace psychotropic drugs. So far Prof. Gerhard Huber do not go. The sports scientist from the University of Heidelberg has looked at numerous studies on the psychotherapeutic effect of sport. Among them is a much-cited U.S. study that concluded that exercise works just as well against depression as medication – and has a lower relapse rate. But Huber does not want to propagate the complete renunciation of antidepressants: "In the case of a clinically manifest depression, it would be grossly negligent to say: just move and leave out the pills."
But at least with the help of sports can reduce the dose. This is because physical activity also improves pharmacodynamics, Huber explains. The brain is better supplied with blood, the active substances reach the brain more quickly. And sometimes the often controversial drugs can even be discontinued earlier. Because sport itself acts like a drug, the body releases more opiates and cortisol. In addition, it improves the transmission of neurotransmitters, which is lame in depressives. At least that's what science currently suspects, says Huber. Proofs for it would be however still pending. But maybe they are not that important. Ultimately, the neurophysiological processes described are only the catalyst, explains Huber. The positive experiences during sport are crucial.
One's own performance creates self-confidence
The model project "Giving depression a leg up!", in which the LZG was involved, confirmed this amption. For more than a year, running clubs for people with depression were offered in Koblenz, Landau and Mainz under the guidance of sports experts and psychotherapists.
Surveys before and after individual workouts found that participants rated their physical and mental well-being significantly better after running than before. Participants said the project had met their expectations, for example in terms of improved physical and mental well-being, strengthened resilience, increased enjoyment of life and greater self-confidence. They saw the exchange within the running group as particularly helpful. The model project led to positive changes in the runners and was predominantly rated as good to very good.
The results of the scientific evaluation of the project were also confirmed by the exercise instructors and psychotherapists. They described motivation in the running groups as consistently high. Overcoming stress, persevering and perceiving an increase in one's own performance have a positive effect on mood and set an upward spiral in motion. The strength of this effect was evident from the fact that participants met to exercise together even during vacations, when walking groups were supposed to be resting.
Sport as part of the therapy
However, depressed people can hardly manage the turnaround to an active life on their own. The group is crucial for motivation and control. According to Huber, good advice from friends or parents usually doesn't help: "Pull yourself together – depressives hear that all the time." Promising success is only a sport program under therapeutic guidance. Even in a preliminary discussion, he said, it must be made clear to patients that sport is not a gimmick, but an important pillar of the therapy.
The right type of sport is crucial
The type of sport must be well considered. Huber has observed in therapy practice that ball games tend to frustrate. Cyclic sports that bring quick results and do not require thinking about the next movement – for example, walking or swimming – are optimal. Jogging also seems ideal: the demands are so carefully dosed that a sense of achievement is programmed. Those who have succeeded in running or swimming their way out of depression have not, however, conquered the disease forever. The new, active lifestyle must continue to be cultivated so that the positive effects are not lost again. More about depression. You can find running here.
Treading water according to Father Kneipp
In Rhineland-Palatinate alone, there are 28 Kneipp facilities, 17 Kneipp arm pools and nine barefoot reflexology paths. Do you live near such a facility? Then use it as a starting point for the next family outing. Water treading pools are often located near parks and walking paths, inviting people to tread water together. It's healthy and great fun for adults and children alike.
The five pillars of Kneipp therapy
Kneipp applications convey temperature stimuli via the skin, which trigger health-promoting reactions in the body and stimulate the immune system. This was already known to the naturopathic priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897), who systematically developed his knowledge of the healing effects of water and medicinal plants into a doctrine over the course of his life. His thinking is still considered groundbreaking today for contemporary disease prevention and a holistic lifestyle. Kneipp placed the elements of water, plants, movement, nutrition and balance in a close relationship to each other in this process. He said:
WaterFor healthy people, it is an excellent means of maintaining their health and strength, and it is also the first remedy for illness; it is the most natural, simplest and – if used correctly – the safest remedy. Water is my best friend and will remain so until I die." PlantsWith every step we take in the glorious nature of God, we encounter new plants that are most useful and healing for us." Exercise: "Exercise increases the zest for life and helps people by strengthening their bodies." NutritionAs long as there is no radical change in our nutritional system, the serious damage to humanity cannot be repaired; on the contrary, it will get worse." Balance: "Few circumstances can be more detrimental to health than the lifestyle of our day. A balance must be found to strengthen the overstrained nerves; to maintain their strength; a balance must be established."
Further information as well as a selection of the Kneipp associations in Rhineland-Palatinate receive you with the Kneipp federation Rhineland-Palatinate: To the Website
In the Schonggang by the cold season
When the nose runs and the throat hurts – are exercise and sports then the right thing for our body?
A very clear "no" if the symptoms go beyond a mild cold and are associated with fever, aching limbs and swollen lymph nodes, for example. Then you should suspend the exercise program. Bed rest is now the order of the day!
Attention to severe colds and fevers
Here are a few tips to help you fight your illness:
– Basically, keep your body warm, but avoid sweating. – Exception: a cold attack can sometimes be relieved by a sweating cure with hot bath and hot tea (z.B. lime blossom tea) avert. Prerequisite for a sweating cure is a stable circulation. Afterwards, several hours of bed rest are required. – Calf compresses (lukewarm) with moist cloths are effective fever reducers. By evaporating the water, they extract heat from the body. Make sure you otherwise keep warm and cover up well (except for your calves). – Drinking enough is important to help loosen tough mucus in the airways and to compensate for fluid loss when you have a fever. – Steam baths or inhalations with chamomile or essential oils are also suitable for moistening the respiratory tract and inhibiting cold-related inflammatory processes. – For coughs, mucolytic preparations are helpful, and for colds you can use nasal spray to constrict blood vessels. Lozenges help with sore throats. They have a disinfecting effect. Pain relieving. There are also numerous medications that provide relief from fever, headaches and aching limbs, z.B. Preparations with the active ingredients acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen or paracetamol. Homeopathic remedies are also often used to treat colds. Before taking any medications, however, be sure to consult your doctor for advice on. – If you take medication, caution is advised. You are (apparently) quickly fit again, because painkillers and antipyretics suppress the symptoms. However, the common cold is still acute. Weakened immune system. – If you are taking antibiotics, it is advisable to avoid exercise. After you stop taking your medication, your doctor should decide when you can start exercising again. – When you have a mild infection, it's best to wrap up well and get out into the fresh air. – If you do not feel too badly affected by your cold, there is nothing wrong with exercise in moderation. On the contrary, a walk in the fresh air is good for a mild cough and cold, mobilizes the body's self-healing powers and strengthens the immune system. It's better to avoid gyms – if only because of the risk of infection to others.
To avoid worsening your cold while walking in the cool autumn air, here are a few tips:
– Dress according to the weather (don't forget headgear on cool days, onion-skin principle in the transitional period) and avoid movements that make you sweat. – You can also strengthen your immune system by getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. – Once the cold is over, you should slowly increase your sporting activities. The body needs some time until it has reached its previous fitness again.
It is best not to get sick in the first place!
With a few little tricks you can get your immune system going and prevent illnesses. When the next wave of colds rolls in, protect yourself by
– take special care to eat a balanced, wholesome diet rich in vitamins – drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or unsweetened herbal teas – get enough sleep and avoid stress – take hot and cold alternating showers and Kneipp baths – go to the sauna regularly – keep your distance from sick people – wash your hands frequently – pay special attention to hygiene in the home if you have sick family members – use hand sanitizer when you are out and about – avoid touching surfaces that are touched by many people if possible (grab bars on the bus, handrails, etc.).)
Herbal preparations and vitamins can also help you to strengthen the immune system. Ask your family doctor or get advice at the pharmacy!
Flu vaccinations, on the other hand, only help against the "real" influenza flu, which is often very severe. For the prevention against the usually more harmless "flu infections" they are not suitable.