Episode 1 of: How to Live a more Healthy Life (Exercise: What is it good for?)

So there are some very interesting studies being done out there about what exercise can do for us. Let’s explore this a bit: there is a study that has found that inactivity is as harmful as smoking and can lead to things like breast and colon cancer, heart disease and type two Diabetes.

 

While there are several differing opinions on how -much- exercise is needed (anywhere from 15 minutes five times a week to 19 hours of exercise a week) there is something that we can agree on: most people in developed countries aren’t getting even 15 minutes of exercise (the kind that raises your heart rate and helps the blood move around your body) on most days of the week. We sit. A lot. And there is a lot of screen time involved (*Doctor Corinne looks sheepish as obviously both she and the reader have at some point been looking at screens*).

Exercise has some incredible benefits besides decreasing the occurrence of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It helps improve our mood, it helps us learn, it helps keep our brain active and functioning. It helps with digestion, helps increase our HDL (‘good’ cholesterol levels) and decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol, increases elimination of toxins from our body, and it helps to move our medications and supplements throughout our system so we get the full benefit of taking them. Exercise helps with Osteoporosis prevention (especially weight bearing exercises) as well as increasing muscle strength and flexibility (assuming you are doing stretching to go along with your contraction focused exercises). It has also been found to increase immune function and, last but not least: it can improve libido.

 

So it pretty much sounds like exercise is absolutely, positively necessary, right? Unfortunately many of us fall prey to things like procrastination, ‘lack of time’ and monetary or physical limitations.

For the procrastination and “I don’t have time” excuses, I will be giving you some detailed ideas on how to overcome these issues (because they are my issues, too.) The monetary and physical limitation issues can be very complex and I fully understand that my ideas for overcoming these issues may be too simplistic. Humor me.

For monetary issues regarding not exercising:

if you own a pair of shoes that support your feet then you can go for a brisk walk

if you don’t like doing things without a purpose, consider commuting to your job by bike or bus and walk for part of the route. Do some of your errands via walking or bike.

Play! Play basketball or baseball or tag or tennis or handball or (the list goes on and on) with friends, kids, neighbors, local sports groups, by yourself. Go to the playground at off times and use the monkey bars, use the swings, climb on stuff, be exuberant in the use of your body!

if your doctor says it’s okay and you own a pair of running shoes then you can begin running (and for the record, you can find decent shoes on sale for under $50 if you look around at stores or on the internet) [if you have a budget, and you should, put those shoes in the budget and save up for them while doing brisk walking. Or ask for them as a gift.]

the library is a great resource for exercise DVDs and books

you can get exercise DVDs on Amazon.com or at a local used video shop for really not that much at all (for a good list, consider these DVDs)

online resources like Hulu.com have free exercise shows as well

turn on some good music and DANCE!!! Just move your body, have a dance party by yourself or with your family or friends. “Dance like no one is watching.” Laugh. Sweat. Enjoy the wonderfulness of movement.

a membership at your local YMCA is often very affordable: look around at the resources in your community and I will almost guarantee that the opportunities are there!

Stay tuned for further information regarding how to overcome physical, procrastination and time issues that impede our ability to exercise regularly.

*The information I have included here or elsewhere on my website is not to be considered treatment or diagnosis or any particular disease or condition. Always consult your health care practitioner before undertaking any new health regimen.


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