Inactivity will sabotage your health.
Were you aware that researchers now cite inactivity as being slightly more harmful to your health than smoking? It is proven that exercise is one of the most important predictors of longevity, yet only about 20 percent of all Americans receive regular physical activity daily. Could this be the reason for the obesity and diabetes crises in the United States which leads to other conditions?
When prescribing an action plan that is geared towards health and disease prevention, exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted the risk of death was 50 to 73 percent less in those who are engaged in regular exercise when compared to inactive persons. Regular physical exercise decreases the risk of colon and breast cancer. In fact, the risk of cancer mortality is reduced to less than 50% in those receiving moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.
The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend two and a half hours of physical exercise weekly broken down to at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 6 days per week. Moderate exercise simply means that you were able to get that heart rate up and break a sweat.
Here are some facts about exercise that are just amazing:
- – Most studies indicate that regular physical exercise is the best predictor of longevity.
- – It is believed that every hour of regular physical exercise will increase lifespan by 2 hours. When you exercise you gain more time.
- – 30 minutes of exercise a week decreases the risk of coronary artery disease by 50%
- – Moderate exercise decreases diabetes risk by 1.7 times
- – Weight bearing exercise build bone mass and thus reduces the risk of hip fracture by 50%
- – Increased fitness will increase your overall health.
- – Physical inactivity increases the risk of death
- – A brisk 2 mile walk daily will burn an average of 200 calories
- Have more energy
- Are sick less often
- Are more successful at weight management
- Cope better with stress and social pressures
- Have less depression and have a more positive self- image
How to get started
There should be no excuse for not obtaining physical exercise. If you are a beginner, start with a few days per week with walking and other gentle exercises and slowly increase the days and time until you are where you need to be. If your desire is to lose weight, you will need to work up to 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily. If you are in a wheelchair, then exercise your upper body. If you use a cane or walker, then walk with your support or get active by doing chair exercises. If you are elderly and have not been physically active, or have other chronic conditions, consult with your health care provider before you begin exercising.
Choose an activity that you enjoy and engage in one of them most days per week. Here are some options:
- -Mowing the lawn
Someone may be saying, “But I don’t have time!”. Exercise is medicine and should be seen as a priority. If you look carefully at your time I am sure you can give up something less beneficial in order to carve out 30 mins most days per week for exercise. There are several health benefits that you will receive from regular physical exercise but in order to reach your full health potential, you must follow through. Stay focused, keep your eyes on the goals you have set for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve those goals.
“All who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer, and winter. A walk even in the winter would be more beneficial to health than all the medicines the doctors may prescribe.” (E.G. White)
The Cooper Wellness & Disease Prevention Center is also here to support your wellness journey. Feel free to contact us at 956-627-3106 or go to www.cooperwellnesscenter.com to find out more about our wellness coaching programs.
To your health
Dona Cooper-Dockery, M.D.