Reasons to Exercise + Tips

How fit are you really? Try this estimator. (Google will easilytranslate into metric.) The following facts may provide additional motivation to get moving and I add a few tips for making exercise a habit. We have heard 1000 times that we should get regular exercise. We know we should but, somehow…statistics show that too many are still thinking about it. This linked article reveals a number of important benefits as does the rest of this page below. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hard or take a lot of time. This 3-4 minute full body workout is a case in point. It is aerobic and works on range of motion and strength. Short bursts of high intensity activity have powerful effects. Since you can do this one while watching TV…no excuses. A large 2020 JAMA study showed that although 9,826 steps per day was optimum, even 3,800 brisk steps a day was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of dementia.

Fitbit offered some ideas for making walking more fun. Here is an article on improving recovery time from workouts. Here is a site with some useful suggestions: Link. Also, read this article for ideas on developing healthy habits and common mistakes. Science shows that there are even bigger benefits if you exercise outdoors in nature.

The Jan-Feb 2009 AARP Bulletin stated walking 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace can REDUCE:

  1. Your medical bills by over $3,000 a year (based on a normal weight retiree)
  2. Depression symptoms by 47%
  3. Your weight by 1.3 pounds a month—15.6 pounds per year. (MW comment: 1000mg of the amino acid L-carnitine on an empty stomach before you head out delivers fat to the cells to be burned for energy and speeds up results and spares muscle. I use the liquid by Jarrow available at health food stores.)
  4. Bone loss (it is actually halted)

You can also REDUCE your RISK of:

  • Type 2 diabetes by 71%
  • Alzheimer’s Disease by 40%. Recent study.
  • Arthritis by 46%
  • Heart disease by 32%
  • Stroke by 33%
  • Colon cancer by 31%
  • Breast cancer by 18% – a recent study shows exercise boosts effectiveness of cancer treatment.

I’d add to that already astounding list:

  • Increase your HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Increase your energy
  • Get that youthful glow back in your skin
  • Think more clearly
  • Reduce cravings for chocolate (even 15 minutes does that)
  • If possible, exercise outdoors and receive these additional benefits.

But how do you get going and stay regular? Try these tips:

  • Understand that exercise will give you the energy to exercise.
  • Start where you are and build. If you can only make it to the mailbox today, fine. Soon it will be the end of the block. (Check with your doctor if there is any question and don’t make too big a change at once because you might get sick. Adding 10% more a week is a conservative goal.)
  • If you can’t find 30 minutes at one time, 3 bursts of 10 minutes still help a lot. (10 before work, 10 at lunch, 10 after work?)
  • Put yourself on the to-do list. How can you help others if you are sick?
  • Team up with a friend so you can support each other and provide some accountability on lazy days.
  • Be sure to walk with good posture (be tall) and it is a good time to think about how deeply you breathe.
  • Believe in yourself. This VIDEO of an overweight wounded warrior’s comeback is inspirational.
  • And drink plenty of water.

Sitting: The latest research shows that sitting too many hours a day is as dangerous to our health as smoking. Stand up desks may not be all they are cracked up to be.

This article about how senior exercises are different was written by one of our guests.

Have an injury while being active? Before going to an orthopedic surgeon, check out this article: 4 Reasons for Seeing a Physiotherapist

Okay, walking isn’t entirely free—you do have to replace your walking shoes periodically—but the savings in medical bills will buy a lot of shoes! Bye for now, I’m going for a walk.

Copyright Martie Whittekin 2009 and 2014