Let Exercise Be Your Medicine!
Years ago, doctors rarely told people with chronic ailments to exercise because they were unsure of how much physical activity these people could handle. In the last decade, exercise has proven to be effective in helping people manage – and prevent – everything from heart disease to osteoporosis, diabetes and even cancer.
Do you use exercise as medicine? Do you Move On Purpose? Are You Physically Active?
Being physically active, moving your body as your ancestors used to do, is the ultimate lifestyle choice. There is a difference between moving, or being physically active and being an exerciser.
Physical activity is any body movement that leads to increased energy expenditure and helps maintain function, while exercise is planned, structured and repetitive body movement.
For instance, activities of daily living (ADLs) – stuff like carrying the groceries, wiping the floor, folding laundry, and vacuuming – count as physical activity or habitual movements. To say you exercise means you might go for a brisk walk everyday during lunch, attend a weekly yoga class or enjoy a competitive game of ball every Friday.
That’s Moving On Purpose, or M.O.P.
A Prescription for Exercise
When your doctor writes you a prescription for a drug it often comes in several different forms, a chewable tablet, a liquid suspension, etc. The dose of the drug also varies. It could be one large dose once a day or several smaller doses throughout the day.
Exercise is no different. There’s a “dose-response” relationship between exercise and health. In effect, you or your trainer could write a “prescription” for exercise, at a tolerated intensity, with your own personal “dosing” schedule. Whatever you choose to do, remember – the only requirements for MOP are to be: planned, structured and repeatedly enjoyed. Some examples of MOP are resistance training, bike, swim, run, dance, yoga, Pilates, etc.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, every day, for five days per week. Or, you can swap that for 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity, three days a week. This is a great “prescription” to start with, working up to one hour of daily moderate intensity activity.
Marry the two for a maximum functional, fit and healthy life.
Your goal should be to incorporate habitual movements all through out the day and to also MOP 5-7 days a week. Doing this will give you the ultimate desired results. For more information about habitual movements and the crucial role they play in health, click here to read an older blog post.
Increasingly, chronic diseases are costing us time and money. That’s not news, but preventing disease by being physically active is far less expensive than traditional medicine. Any time you spend enjoying yourself while being active, right now, means less time spent in convalescence, waiting for medical care when you are older.
Speak to your regular healthcare practitioner or certified personal trainer and write yourself an Exercise Prescription today!
Another grate place to start is the 3 Things to Change FREE Program. Start Now!