Exercise For the Health of it!

This quote comes from the mid 1800’s, “those who don’t make time for exercise now, will have to make time for illness later” so you think we would have figured it out and followed it by now. But no, today it has been determined that not getting the recommended minimum amount (only 150 minutes) of physical activity per week accounts for more deaths than diabetes, smoking and obesity combined. This tells us that many people are not making enough time for physical activity and it not just harmful to their health but it can be fatal.

150 minutes, just 2.5 hours per week. That is less than 30 minutes per day. Very, very doable if we just build it into lour daily routine. Add a 30 minute workout of some sort at the beginning, middle or end of every day. You can even split it up into three 10 minute sessions or two 15 minute ones. I have heard plenty of excuses over the years as to why it can’t be done. But, if there is a will there is a way. Because you won’t die tomorrow from not exercising today, it is easy to procrastinate. And we all know the stories of the 98 year old smoker who also enjoys gin on a daily basis or the 25 year old that died running in a marathon. These are not the norm. There also is no guarantee that you won’t die prematurely from the evil disease we call cancer no matter how well you care for yourself. The point is, exercise is a great preventive measure to ward off many debilitating diseases.

If you decided in January to “lose weight and get in shape” but now see your interest, determination and participation sliding, use “exercise for the health of it” as your February and beyond, mantra. Think of it as a prescription from your physician. You would and certainly should, take a prescribed blood pressure pill each day to prevent stroke. So prescribe daily exercise to yourself to prevent stroke and a host of other diseases associated with inactivity. As your health improves through activity you may find your doctor is able to reduce or remove certain medications for you.

An “exercise buddy” is a great way to keep up the motivation. Walking and talking with a friend is lots more fun than walking and talking to yourself. Join an organized group. Pickelball is an extremely popular activity and I know communities in the area offer this group activity in many locations. Fitness classes are an excellent way to get activity into your day. Getting yourself in the door of the class is the hardest part about it. But do it. Check the schedule, choose something you might like, and go. Fitness instructors are the most energetic, enthusiastic people on the planet who will be happy to see you in the class and will go out of their way to make it a positive experience for you!

If you are a working parent perhaps early morning or late night exercise feels like the only option but sleep is also valued so very much. That’s when 10 or 15 minute sessions can work. Or exercise with your children and they benefit too. The point is, just do it, exercise or die.