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  • Writer's pictureJulie Manley

Exercise is Medicine

There’s a global movement out there and it’s called EXERCISE IS MEDICINE. Health care practitioners throughout Canada, the United States and other countries are teaming up to address the serious problem of inactivity by prescribing exercise as part of their treatment protocol. What a great idea! Canadians are increasingly facing more and more health issues that stem from the lack of physical activity. Chronic disease, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions are just some of the conditions that can arise from sitting on your butt.

But what if the solution was a simple as dedicating 30 to 60 minutes a day to moving your body? Sounds like a pretty simple concept, doesn’t it? The good thing is that it can be that easy.

According to many research studies the benefits from exercise are infinite and in many cases reduce or replace the need for medications. What are some of the benefits?

  • Risk reduction from dying of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol

  • Medication reduction

  • Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer

  • Reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

  • Reduced risk of heart disease and high blood pressure

  • Control of weight, muscle strength, BMI and bone strength

  • Decreased stress, depression and anxiety, increased energy

  • Reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes

  • Reduced risk of developing osteoporosis

  • Increased longevity

  • Look and feel great (increased QUALITY OF LIFE)

Don’t know where to start? Top 10 tips to get you moving:

  1. Schedule a time in your day for your daily exercise. Don’t compromise this time for anything. No matter what, that time is reserved for YOU and your body.

  2. Don’t know where to start? Get walking! A moderately fast-paced walk is a phenomenal way to get your heart pumping.

  3. Start with 30 minutes. Research indicates that a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day is necessary. Ideally, you want to aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

  4. Think about your goal. Do you want to lose weight, be able to run a certain distance or put on muscle or just get fit? To meet your specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more or choose specific activities that will get you where you want. Need help? Getting an expert to help you with a plan and structure helps you get and stay on track.

  5. Want to lose weight? The amount of exercise you do has to burn more calories than what you consume. It’s a pretty simple equation. Ramping up your exercise to 300 minutes per week is a great start and watching the number of calories that you consume will show you the results.

  6. Exercising within 20 minutes after eating is a great way to do just that too. This keeps your blood sugar levels in check and is a great way to control weight as well as manage Type 2 diabetes. Try it, you may just like how you look and feel.

  7. Get an exercise buddy. Nothing is more motivating than a friend who won’t let you cancel on your exercise date.

  8. Keep track of your exercise program and what you did. Invest in a device like a Fitbit or use an app to track your progress and plan goals. Looking back at where you started and what you have accomplished is a great motivator.

  9. Choose an activity that you like. If you hate running but are forcing yourself to do it, that’s not going to last long. Try out various different types of exercise and find one that you actually enjoy doing!

  10. Consider hiring a personal trainer or going to instructor-led classes so that you can make sure that you are using good form to avoid injury and…. keep you accountable!

Check with your physiotherapist if you have any questions on how to get started, how to exercise with an injury or chronic disease, and what exercise might be best for you and your goals.

For more information, check out this link on how today’s health care practitioners are teaming up to help make Canadians healthier with exercise. Why not start today?

Also, here’s a great video by Dr. Mike Evans that highlights everything just mentioned!

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