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Exercise: Who Needs It?

Health care costs are skyrocketing-we need to take personal responsibility to maintain our health

Written by Frank G. Yanowitz, MD

Everybody needs it! It's the 11th commandment. What other single therapeutic agent does all of the following: lowers cholesterol, reduces elevated blood pressure, improves heart function, decreases appetite, facilitates weight reduction, improves sleep, reduces depression, decreases cancer risk, and prevents diabetes?

Exercise does all these things and more. In our country rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes are staggering along with the increasing prevalence of physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity (all products of an unhealthy lifestyle). At a time when health care costs are skyrocketing, we need to take personal responsibility to maintain or improve our health by following healthy lifestyle recommendations. The national recommendations for exercise are: all adults should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity most, if not all, days of the week.

The word accumulate implies that we can achieve this goal by adding up 10 or more minute segments of physical activity throughout the day. It doesn't need to be done all at once. The wordphysical activity means that activities other than structured exercise such as moderate intensity housework, yard work, walking, and many other recreational activities are acceptable. Most days of the week means at least 4 and preferably 5 or 6. The benefits of achieving this fitness goal are well worth the effort. So, let's get physical!

Article Reviewed: July 25, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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