Exercise Made Easy
THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 26 - NO. 8 - AUGUST 2021
It is widely recognized that regular exercise can improve almost anyone's fitness, sense of well-being, and often even longevity. The bad news is that even knowing this, most people don't make exercise a priority.
Lack of time for that 30-minute jog on a treadmill has been one of the most common excuses. But evidence has accumulated over the years that solid fitness benefits are possible without that kind of dedicated time block. Instead, you can break exercise into 10-minute segments, scattered through the day, and you don't need to get exhausted or travel to the gym. Aerobic exercise, for example, can be as simple as climbing stairs in your office building—just so it's enough exertion to raise your heart rate a reasonable amount. So say the new recommendations of the highly respected American College of Sports Medicine.
In addition to the aerobic component of exercise, the new recommendations suggest that a modest amount of weight training helps people of all ages. Lifting simple weights in your basement twice a week can make a big difference. Finally, flexibility counts. Simple, brief stretching exercises, which can be done almost anywhere except in a moving vehicle, help maintain joint flexibility and mobility.
To help you and your patients understand and follow the new recommendations, The Physician and Sportsmedicine has two offerings this month: a summary of what's new in the recommendations in our News Briefs section, and an Exercise Adviser patient handout by board member Bryant Stamford, PhD, that puts the recommendations in practical terms.
So now it'll be easier for you and your patients to integrate exercise into your daily life. The main trick is to keep it going. Exercise doesn't work as a theoretical concept. Find an activity you like—brisk walking, swimming, tennis, even golf. Do it with friends. If you enjoy it, you'll find the time.
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