How much would you be willing to pay for something that could do all this?
According to Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the
Alzheimer's Research Center at the Mayo Clinic, that something is also, “probably the
best means we have of preventing Alzheimer's disease today, better than
medications, better than intellectual activity, better than supplements
So what is the “something” that can do all that?
Ok, ok, ok, if you hate that word, how about this:
Oh, and it’s free. And when used wisely, it has no dangerous side effects. And in case you forgot, it improves your sex life, helps you lose weight, improves your mood, reduces stress, depression (and by the way, anxiety), improves your concentration, is the best means we have today of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and more . . .
Hmmm . . . let's see . . . better mood, better sex life, lose weight . . . so why don't I exercise regularly?
If exercise can do all those things, what are some of the reasons why you wouldn't exercise regularly?
You hate it?
You can’t find time for it?
If you have time, you don't’t know what exercise to do?
Should I run or walk…should I stretch before I run or walk before I stretch . . .do I need to
join a gym or can I use equipment at home . . . should I get a treadmill, stationary bike,
elliptical, or stepping machine . . . should I use bar bells or kettle bells . . . should I learn
yoga, Pilates, or Qigong . . . ??? The choices are endless!
Well . . . let’s see – do
you go shopping? Have you ever walked around a mall? Do you walk from
your home to your car, and from your car to your office? Well, then
“But,” you say, “what about the recommended guidelines?” (30 minutes of moderate exercise 5x/week, or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise 3x/week.)
Yes, there are guidelines. But if you’re one of the 70% of Americans who is not meeting these guidelines, or one of the approximately 50% who is hardly getting any regular exercise at all, let’s make it really simple:
Here’s one you definitely can do. It's a prescription for everyone from Dr. Gary Sachs, Psychiatrist and Program Director, Mass General Hospital:
Dr. Sachs calculated that if the
average American did this for a year, they would lose five pounds (and if
they didn’t exercise at all, they would most likely gain about five
That’s 15 minutes a day, multiplied by five days, for a grand total of 75 minutes a week – one hour and fifteen minutes.
Do you really not have time for that?
Well, let’s say you don’t. Then walk two minutes in one direction, and two minutes back.
You say you don’t want to have to do it five times a week? Then try it three times. Try it twice, or even once. Or every week, walk a total four minutes.
If you were to just walk four minutes, once a week, for two months, you’d get used to it. It would start to feel normal. You might even actually start to enjoy it and decide to add another day… then maybe another, and then . . .
If that sounds
terribly boring, what about going to a club and dancing? Or taking a
hip hop or salsa class if you don’t feel confident enough to dance in a
Or just putting on some music and moving around your living
room? Or trying Zumba, kickboxing, hiking, swimming, making love
(really, it’s good exercise), playing volleyball, tennis, soccer,
kayaking, skiing, surfing (or any sport that involves continuous
activity), gardening, horseback riding, throwing a Frisbee, or playing
The fact is, if you’re really motivated (remember that endless list of benefits – more energy, better sex, lose weight, live longer, be happier and healthier…), and you plan carefully, you can make time, and you can find something that you really enjoy doing.
Here’s a simple framework for developing healthy exercise habits for life: