The Second Pillar of Good HealthLast week we discussed nutrition, the First Pillar of Good Health. This week I want to talk about the Second Pillar. The first two Pillars go hand in hand. It is difficult to talk about one without discussing the other. That clue may have given it away already... The Second Pillar of Health is exercise. Everyone understands that exercise is important to our well-being, however, a significant portion of our population still does not make it a daily priority.
Let's talk about exercise and its role in your overall health. We all understand the valuable role that exercise plays in terms of weight control and cardiovascular health. However, not many of us are aware of the role that it can play in our brain health, or our mood, or our sleep patterns, or our energy levels, or our ability to maintain our independence, or our ability to continue to do the things that we love. There is evidence to support each of these claims and I would be happy to share it with you if you are interested.
It is easy to see regular exercise will not only extend our lifespan, more importantly, it will also extend our health span.
So let's talk about exercise. First and foremost, I want you to understand that it is NEVER too late to start. AND it doesn't matter how slow you start, all that matters is that you start today. There is an old Chinese proverb that really applies to this situation - We also have to keep in mind that every day that we do more than we did the day before is a step in the right direction. Many people think that their session needs to include at least an hour of intense exercise. While that would be great, it is not always a realistic starting point. How can we expect to go from minimal daily exercise to doing an hour-long strenuous workout every day?
Plan to start small and build a habit. Start simply by parking your car a little farther away or taking the stairs more consistently. Or plan to mix some movement into your day. Or do 5 body weight squats everytime you use the restroom (make it even tougher by drinking a little more water every day... That may help with a future Pillar) Or make sure that you hit 10,000 steps on your tracker (even though that number has been proven to be arbitrary).
The point is your exercise plan does not need to be perfect, you just need to start moving more! Every day!
Movement is my medicine,