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.]