Are you having trouble finding the time, energy or desire to establish an exercise program, even though everything you read says you should? Why is it so hard? Not too long-ago exercise was an inescapable part of our everyday life and the gym was a place for body builders or serious athletes. Many of you can remember when walking to work or school, riding bikes and even mowing the lawn, were common everyday ways that folks stayed active and in-shape.
Most people probably don’t know that research now shows that exercise is good for more than their hearts. Though it is important to know that statistics indicate up to a 50% reduction in heart attacks with regular activity. Exercise also increases your protective cholesterol, reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides. And just as important for your heart, as well as every other organ in your body, it reduces your blood sugar.
Do you know that women who are active go into menopause with stronger bones and muscles so that they have are less likely to break a bone as they age? Very important information about exercise, that is not as commonly known, is that there is a significant reduction in many types of cancer in people who stay active. Colon cancer risk is 30% less with regular physical activity. Sitting around too much actually increases your risk of every type of female cancer! But the risk of breast cancer is decreased by 18% for women who exercise only 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours a week, compared to inactive women. That’s as little as 10-20 minutes a day or 20 minutes 3-4x/week. For those undergoing radiation treatment for cancer, exercise is a non-invasive, inexpensive and readily available way proven to decrease fatigue. AND exercise has been shown to increase the natural killer cell activity in postmenopausal breast cancer thrivers.
People are also reading…
There is also substantial research showing a reduction in back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and depression. If you are concerned about memory–long term physical activity, including walking, is associated with significantly better brain power and less decline of this function with aging.
The good news is that even 10 minutes of exercise a day will decrease the risk of many of these diseases!
So now that I have reminded you how good it is to spend a little time each day moving around, how can you make it happen? Find something you enjoy and that is convenient. Think how you can incorporate everyday activities into something regular. In the summer, mowing the lawn with a push mower is a vigorous work out (and is environmentally friendly). Find an inexpensive bike and take a ride with the kids after dinner. A neighbor hood park can be a pleasant setting for a few times around or just working your legs (and heart) on a swing. Dancing in the living room to your favorite music or with your favorite person, can be done anytime of year. These are just a few ideas, but I’m sure you will come up with more, and find one that suits you.
Moving your body around can help you feel better every day, prevent illness and possibly even save your life.