If you don’t have enough oxygen in your bloodstream, energy production drops, and your cells lose their ability to repair DNA. A low oxygen level in the cells — chronic hypoxia — is a cause of chronic disease, especially cancer.

Unfortunately, in our modern world, this low oxygen state is very common. We are a nation of couch potatoes. When we do exercise, it’s usually cardio and aerobics. But cardio and aerobics don’t raise your oxygen levels enough.

The key to raising your oxygen levels is to slowly increase the challenge when you work out. By doing so, you can boost the amount of oxygen that gets to your cells and disease-proof your body.

I use this approach to help my patients burn fat, strengthen their hearts, and pump up their lungpower, no matter how out-of-shape they are when they start. Even if they can’t handle intense exertion in the beginning, it slowly and easily builds their strength.

You can double the oxygen to your brain and triple the oxygen to your heart — and you can get started right now, whether you’re reading this at work or at home. Here’s how:

  • Get up from your chair. Make sure you have some space around you. You’re going to do some jumping jacks. Remember those from middle school? It’s a great exercise to get your heart pumping and your lungs working.
  • Stand with your feet together and your arms at your side. Jump out with your legs and raise your arms over your head. Breathe through your nose. Return to your starting position and repeat. Do 25 jumping jacks.
  • Stop and recover until your heart rate slows and you feel like you’re almost back to normal.
  • Do 25 more jumping jacks — but this time, increase the speed. Try to get them done in half the time of the first set. Recover.
  • Do 35 jumping jacks, a little faster this time. You’ll start to feel the burn in your legs and your breathing will get harder.
  • Do a few more sets, increasing the number and the speed each time. But remember to recover in between.

Do this workout three times a week. You’ll notice that the time it takes for you to recover will decrease, and soon you’ll be working at a high intensity!

[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears is a practicing physician and the author of PACE: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution. He is also a nutritional expert, a fitness expert, and is certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine.

One of Dr. Sears’s patients, Byron Black, 67, was able to control his diabetes — even stopping his four times daily insulin injections — and lose about 40 pounds after nine months, thanks to the PACE program and diet changes suggested by Dr. Sears.

Find out more about Byron and other PACE success stories here.]

Al Sears has written six books and more than 500 articles in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging and nutritional supplementation. He enjoys a worldwide readership of millions spread over 123 countries and has appeared on more than 50 national radio programs, ABC News, CNN and ESPN. In The Doctor’s Heart Cure, Dr. Sears exposes the real causes of the modern epidemic of heart disease with practical how-to advice for building real heart strength and resistance to disease without drugs. It is available in nine languages and remains a bestseller three years after its publication. His 12 Secrets to Virility sheds light on the huge environmental and nutritional problems with virility in our modern world and gives men a step-by step guide for maintaining health, strength and masculinity as they age. It became a bestseller during its first month of release. His latest book Your Best Health Under the Sun addresses the myths of the sun’s dangers and gives readers an action plan for restoring this important natural resource for better mood, strength, energy and nutritional health.Dr. Sears is board certified as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist and was appointed to the international panel of experts at Health Sciences Institute, (HSI) a worldwide information service for alternative nutritional therapies. A master gardener and herbalist, Dr. Sears maintains an herbal apothecary of more than 250 organic herbs used for research, education and treatments. Dr. Sears is the founder and director of The Wellness Research Foundation, conducting original research evaluating natural alternatives to pharmaceutical therapies.Dr. Sears is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is board certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. As a pioneer in this new field of medicine, he is an avid researcher and sought-after lecturer to thousands of doctors and health enthusiasts. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. As well as being a sports and fitness coach and a lifelong advocate of exercise programs, Dr. Sears is an ACE-certified fitness trainer. He maintains his integrative clinic and research center in Florida, where he has developed novel exercise and nutritional systems transforming the lives of more than 20,000 patients.