Exercise is the BEST!



Exercise is the best-kept secret in preventive medicine. Despite our other differences, we all need to exercise for health. Regular exercise provides essential protection against many of the diseases that plague our country. The list includes:

  • heart attack

  • stroke

  • high blood pressure

  • diabetes

  • obesity

  • osteoporosis and fractures

  • depression

  • colon and breast cancers

  • dementia (memory loss).

What does it take to get these benefits? Less than you might think. The key is what exercise scientists call isotonic exercise — activities that use your large muscle groups in a rhythmic, repetitive fashion without making your muscles work against heavy resistance. We used to call this "aerobic" exercise because we thought it had to be intense enough to boost your heart rate into the aerobic range (70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate). We also called it "endurance" exercise because we thought it had to be sustained continuously to be beneficial. But we now know that neither of these long-held beliefs is true. In fact, you can get all the health benefits you need from moderate exercise that won't make you huff and puff, even if you do it in little chunks — as long as it adds up to enough total activity.

We coined the term "cardiometabolic exercise" (CME) to encompass a range of activities, from climbing the stairs in your office building to pushing yourself on an elliptical. All these things will improve your heart, your metabolism, and your health. The key is to do enough and to do it often enough. For health, doctors should "prescribe" at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise a day. To see how your exercise stacks up, use the CME point system (see below), aiming to get at least 150 CME points a day.

Mix daily activities, formal workouts, and sports play to get the cardiometabolic exercise you need for health. And for best results, do some stretching nearly every day and some strength training two or three times a week. The older we get, the more we need these supplementary activities. And as the years roll on, most of us will also benefit from some simple exercises to improve balance and prevent falling, a major health problem for seniors.


*Copy from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/how-much-exercise-do-you-need*

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