12 Months To A Healthier You! (Month 2)
Month 2: Exercise
Dr. Anne Zauderer
I am all about efficiency and value. I like to get the most “bang for my buck” in all that I do. If you are like me then you are going to be excited about month #2! This month, the challenge I give you is exercise. Before you stop reading, please hear me out. I understand that we all know we should exercise on a regular basis, yet, only 20% of people actually do it. Why is that? Most of us, when we think about exercise, conjure up an image of “sweating it out” at the gym. Exercise seems like it requires a lot of effort. However, I’m here to prove that wrong.
Month 2: Exercise
What if I told you that there was a medicine out there that could accomplish all of the following:
- Reduction of pain/disability from arthritis by 47%
- Reduced progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 50%
- Reduced progression from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes by 58%
- Decreased risk of hip fracture in post-menopausal women by 41%
- Reduced anxiety by 48%
- 30% decrease in depression, 47% decrease with more exercise
- 23% lower risk of death
- Alleviation of fatigue and quality of life improvement!
What is this “magic treatment”? EXERCISE! It gets better. Most of the exercise used to prove the above statistics was no more than 30 minutes per day of walking. Even better, the 30 minutes per day didn’t have to be continuous exercise! So you could take three 10-minute walks and get the benefits outlined above.
I know we are all busy, so here are a few tips to help you get 30 minutes of walking in per day:
- Start and end your lunch break with a 10-minute walk. If you pack your lunch, you have enough time to take a walk or two. This will also increase your metabolism and help you more efficiently burn off the calories you are eating.
- If you have children who play sports, walk around the field or court while they are practicing. You can easily get 30-60 minutes of walking.
- Get a dog. Furry friends are a great motivation to get out twice a day and take a walk.
- Park in the farthest row at the grocery store. Those extra few minutes of walking can add up!
- Find a podcast or music you enjoy and use that as motivation to get out and walk while you listen.
- Cold outside? Just stand up and march in place while you are watching your favorite TV show. Any movement is going to be better than nothing.
If you are already exercising on a regular basis (great job!), here’s a way to take your exercise routine to the next level. Incorporate what is known as High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT). You can use this program with whatever form of exercise you enjoy (biking, running, elliptical, rowing and even walking). Do a warm-up for 2 minutes and then go through 8 cycles of the following: 30 seconds as hard as you can (goal is to increase your heart rate to a max level for your age*) and then 1 minute and 30 seconds slow. Repeat that 8 times followed by a 2 minute cool-down. The whole program takes 20 minutes. Incorporate this 3 times per week and you will see an increase in muscle tone and fitness!
*to find your max heart rate, subtract your age from 180 beats per minute
Source: 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? http://www.evanshealthlab.com/