Jul - Aug 2014

Get Up Stand Up and Move

By Pamela Shenk, CHt


We all know that the long-term benefit of exercise is better health, but we don’t always acknowledge how difficult it is to add exercise to our already overcommitted life. So ideally you need to find a type of exercise that you enjoy enough to fit into your hectic schedule. Here’s why it’s important and why you should get started right away.

 

A study from researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School studied 34,000 women with the average age of 54.  Over a 13 year period, the women gained an average of 5.7 pounds. The women who successfully maintained their weight (13%) exercised an hour a day at moderate intensity. These results should be encouraging to anyone who is looking for a proven way to maintain their weight.

 

But what this study also illustrates is that the main reason your body starts to pack on the pounds as you age is probably that you are not exercising enough or not at all.


Is there any harm in not exercising at all? You bet there is. Your weight gain can really begin to snowball over the years, increasing the risk of a number of unhealthy conditions like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.


But when you exercise regularly, your body will benefit in many ways. Your heart and muscles get stronger and your lungs are better equipped at handling oxygen. Doctors have even found that exercise boosts your immune system.

 

Do you have to train for a marathon in order to benefit from exercise? No, not at all. The point is, do something. Something is better than nothing. You can’t just sit around, do nothing and expect to stay healthy. It is up to you to get up off the couch and move. How much, how often and what type of exercise you perform will be individualized based on your preference and current fitness level.  It is recommended that you check with your physician before starting any vigorous exercise program. 

Some exercise is good, more is better but be realistic about your commitment because consistency is the key!