A few days ago, a report in the medical journal, BMJ, suggested that exercise is just as potent as some medications for conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The researchers conducted numerous controlled trials involving more than 339,000 patients. While they don’t incite people to stop taking medicines, they did encourage people to incorporate more exercise into their lifestyle.
This is where it gets tricky.
In our culture, we tend to think of exercise as a way to sculpt our bodies and lose weight. That is absolutely true, but we forget about the other purpose of regular exercise — the most important purpose.
Regular exercise can improve blood pressure, give us better sleep, boost our energy and enhance our mood.
Many people get started with an exercise regimen but never finish, especially around this time of the year when we’re eager to refresh for the New Year. The key to starting or maintaining an exercise regimen is to truly enjoy it.
Yes, we know we have to move our bodies, but no matter how effective that activity is, you won’t keep doing it if you abhor it.
It’s important to find something you love to do — and not just at a gym or fitness studio.
Think outside of the parameters of structured fitness, equipment, monitors and machines.
What did you like as a child? If you’re older than 30, most likely, it was spent outside doing something fun or creative. Why not try it again? Ride a bike, play double Dutch with the kids or join a local sports team.
If you’re a dancer, go where there’s dancing on the weekends and during the week, put on your favorite music and dance away for about 30 minutes.
Are you an outdoors person? Walk a trail or book a trip to go hiking.
If you can’t see yourself doing any of these, pull out a piece of paper and a pen and brainstorm. If the idea of something brings a smile to your face, go out and do it, and make it a habit.
Just remember to do something, and in the process, enjoy it.