Exercise Is Medicine - Are You Getting Your Daily Dose?

Want to feel better, have more energy and live longer?  Who doesn’t?  Well, look no further than regular, old-fashioned, sweat-inducing exercise.  As this is my first post on exercise, my goal is to highlight the basic health benefits.  As a disclaimer, if exercising is a new concept for you, please consult with your physician or health care provider before embarking on an exercise program.

The merits of exercise — from preventing chronic health conditions to boosting confidence and self-esteem — are hard to ignore.  By introducing a moderate amount of exercise into your daily life (…I am not talking hours upon hours here), you can significantly improve your overall health, well-being and quality of life.  And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.  Studies show that people in their 80s and 90s can gain benefits from exercise similar to those seen in young men and women.  Need more convincing?

Check out 7 specific ways exercise can improve your life: 

1. Improves your mood
2. Combats chronic diseases
3. Helps manage your weight
4. Strengthens your heart and lungs
5. Promotes better sleep
6. Can put the spark back into your sex life
7. Finally, it can be — gasp — fun! 

Just think, there isn't a pill out there that can boast all of those benefits.  If there were, it would be an overnight multi-billion dollar blockbuster!

How much exercise is enough you might ask?  If you are dreading the idea of long, sweaty hours in the local gym, I have some good news for you.  You simply don’t have to spend as much time as most people think to gain benefits from exercising.  You don’t even need to belong to a gym - you can get a great workout in the comfort of your home or in the great outdoors.  You want to aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.  Think of it this way, if you get an average of 8 hours of sleep per night (which I highly recommend!), you are awake for a total of 16 hours per day, or 960 minutes.  Those 30 minutes of exercise represent just over 3% of your total day!  Yes, you CAN find the time!  However, if you really think you don’t have the time to exercise, keep a log of your schedule for 24 hours and send it to me – I’ll find the time for you!  To give you fair warning, I may axe some TV time from your schedule.

Also, studies show that breaking exercise up into shorter increments does not diminish the benefits and is easier to stick with.  Feel free to divide up the 30 minutes into 2 bouts of 15 minutes, 3 bouts of 10 minutes, or…you get the idea.  Also, schedule exercise just like any other appointment on your calendar.  You are worth it!  The benefits of exercise discussed above will only last if exercise becomes a regular part of your life – make it a habit.

For more information on the health benefits of exercise click here.

If you aren’t a regular exerciser, are you motivated to start?

Do you put exercise into your schedule?

If you exercise regularly, what benefits have you noticed?