Do you exercise?
I’ve led an active lifestyle my entire life. More “formal” exercise started in my 20s, I’m 54. Even during a battle with breast cancer I maintained an exercise regimen. It helped me make it through!
Implementing, and sticking to, a fitness regimen can be quite challenging. If you don’t currently have one in place, now is the time to start. Exercise, or physical activity, provides many benefits to your body both physically and mentally.
Don’t get hung up on the terminology! Being physically active is what’s important. You don’t have to participate in traditional forms of exercise. The important thing is to move your body. It’s not meant to be sedentary.
If morning is the best time for you to exercise but you hit the snooze button every time the alarm goes off, use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. When the alarm sounds, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and get up. That’s the amount of time it takes your brain to change your mind about doing something. Purchase a dawn simulator so it’s light in your room even if the sun hasn’t come up yet. Your body will think it is time to get up because it is light.
It’s recommended that adults get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. If you aren’t physically able to perform the recommended amount of exercise (movement) then start from where you are and over time build up to it.
Setting a measurable goal can be helpful when first get started and to keep you engaged. Be realistic about the goal so you can achieve it. When you achieve the first one set a larger or harder goal. Reaching a goal can help you stay motivated and you’ll be less likely to give up.
You could begin with alternative activities and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able. Little changes made consistently over time will have the greatest impact.
Reasons to Exercise
The benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle are:
- Heart health
- Bone health
- Movement and flexibility
- Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight
- Balance emotions like depression and stress
Types of Exercise
- Aerobic activities to increase your heart rate and burn calories. This is crucial for weight loss. It’s also important to have good nutrition. Exercise alone is not the key to losing weight.
- Weight training for strength. It is good at any age but maybe even more so as you age for bone health.
- Stretching for flexibility. You can maintain mobility as you age if you keep your muscles loose and long. Practice Essentrics, a form of stretching designed by Miranda Esmond-White. Watch her show on PBS, Classical Stretch, or visit her website to find a class in your area.
In addition to traditional forms there are other ways you can get exercise.
- House cleaning
- Yard work
- Park farther away from the store when you go shopping
- Use the stairs any time that you can
- Play with children or pets outdoors and in
- Use the push mower instead of the riding lawnmower
Maintaining an active lifestyle is key. If you don’t have time to get a workout in, try to be active in other ways during the day. Get your heart rate up so you can still burn calories. If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.
Exercise and Cancer
The American Cancer Society shared the following information.
There is a continued need to understand how modifiable behaviors like physical activity may help prevent and control cancer in the population.
- Exercise is important for cancer prevention for all adults. It lowers the risk of seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus, and stomach.
- Exercise can help improve survival for cancer survivors after a diagnosis of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
- Exercise during and after cancer treatment improves fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, and quality of life and does not exacerbate lymphedema.
Awareness is the first step to creating change. Identify what your current level of physical activity is and what actions you need to take to get to where you want it to be.
The human body was made to move. Get yours up and going! Remember to start slow and be consistent. Build a routine. Small steps completed consistently over time will create the most change.
Hey, by the way, I have a guide on how to promote a good night’s sleep. Do you think physical activity is one of the factors? Click here to get the guide.