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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Nature Basics: Physical Education 101

Feb 01, 2020 09:16AM ● By Earth's Healing
Brought to you by Earth’s Healing

Most people remember having to go to physical education, or phys. ed., in school. Students are made to move and exercise. They’re graded on how well they run, swim or play volleyball or softball. Unfortunately, the aging process, accidents, illness and disease can sometimes put a halt to some, or all, of these activities.
   
According to the American Psychological Association, there are over 50 million Americans who are living sedentary lives. The reasons for an inactive lifestyle could be caused by any number of circumstances. Sitting at a desk all day at work, standing behind a cash register or being in chronic pain are just a few of the things that can lead to a life lacking in physical activity.
   
One in 12 Americans are living with intrusive pain, which means over half of the 50 million Americans who are lacking exercise are living sedentary lives because they have difficulty moving without moderate to severe pain. There are pharmaceutical medications on the market designed to help manage pain, but often these drugs have several unwelcome side effects, including lightheadedness, nausea and lethargy, to name just a few. The pain may or may not be managed by these drugs, and the side effects aren’t conducive for enjoying a long walk, exercising or striking a yoga pose.
        
James A. Levine, an obesity specialist at the Mayo Clinic, laid the groundwork for researching the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on the human body. After years of research, an article published by Johns Hopkins Medicine has shown that lack of physical activity increases the risks of certain cancers, contributes to anxiety and depression, is a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases, decreases skeletal muscle mass and increases high blood pressure and cholesterol. The report also showed that engaging in more physical activity lessens the development of coronary heart disease and the risk of being overweight or obese.
   
There is a natural way to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, including those leading to an early death, and to minimize chronic pain. The numerous cannabinoids that make up the marijuana plant continue to surprise researchers as more medicinal benefits are being discovered. It’s been widely known throughout history that cannabis is effective for easing chronic pain. For some of the Americans living an inactive life because of pain, a safe and natural remedy could make it possible to go for a walk, hike or bike ride.
   
Hundreds of studies conducted throughout the world have shown that cannabinoids from the plant interact with nerve cells where they dull, slow and sometimes eliminate pain altogether. Oftentimes, cannabinoids treat the cause of the pain at the same time, not simply masking it like too many pharmaceuticals currently do.
   
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to complications in the cardiovascular system. According to the American Heart Association, almost half of the adults in the U.S. have some form of heart disease. By simply moving more, the chances of cardiovascular problems lessen. Not only do the cannabinoids in marijuana combat chronic pain allowing those suffering from it to move more freely, but the cannabinoids can actually treat the heart as well. A research study conducted at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, and published in the Journal of Pharmacological Research, concluded that cannabinoids may help fight against high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Compounds in the cannabinoids work to relax and expand blood vessels in the body, very similar to the way that prescription drugs do.
   
Chronic pain and cardiovascular disease are debilitating and can prevent the sufferer from moving and getting the exercise that the body needs to help fight the pain and heart problems. Marijuana, again, comes into the spotlight as a new option to fight these conditions. Reading some of the research studies and talking with professionals can help people decide what route is best for treatment. Marijuana can be added to a treatment plan or used as the primary treatment. There will be questions that arise, and the staff at Earth’s Healing are highly trained and ready to assist patients looking for alternative natural medicines.
   
As always, when deciding to change or augment medical treatment, it is best to consult with a primary care physician as well.

Earth’s Healing Dispensary is conveniently located at 2075 E. Benson Hwy. and
78 W. River Rd., Tucson. Connect at EarthsHealing.org. See ad, page 33.
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