According to recent studies that actually measure activity, less than 5% of adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day-of any type! Children aged 8 to 18 now spend more than seven hours a day in front of TV, video games or a computer. In addition, those same children get an average of 20+ teaspoons of sugar, plus an enormous amount of fat and salt daily. Is it any wonder why this generation is not expected to live longer than their parents? If adults don’t have activity in their own lives, how can we expect our kids to? You don’t like to exercise? Get over it! All of us are aging, and the most critical elements are the ability to move the way you want to and the ability to think the way you want to. I’m reminded of a song from my youth: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you want till it’s gone.” Remember, any activity is better than none. Why? Do you want to carry your own luggage, play with your kids/grandkids, carry your groceries, or some simple things like being able to push yourself out of bed or get off the toilet? You bet you do because I work with many who can’t, and they’d trade all of the years of inactivity for another chance….But, what if you could exercise for less time and get as much-or more-out of it? I’ve been crowing for several years about the benefits of high-intesity exercise. Exercising at higher intensity that’s uncomfortable for a short time-whether it’s 20 seconds with a 30 second rest, or one minute with a two-minute rest. Whether walking, doing calisthenics, body pump, etc…. Researchers now know that this type can give you the same benefits as the traditional 30 minutes, five times per week. And, it’s not the just the bout of exercise that is beneficial. It’s what Dr. Timothy Church, professor of medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University calls “the exercise shadow.” It’s the boost in metabolism by hormones that persists for several hours after a bout of activity. Burns fat, improves blood sugar levels, increases bone density, lowers blood pressure, lowers the risk of cancers, prevents falls, helps with heart and lung function, and the brain! AND, no side effects! If it were in a pill, everyone would take it! Always check with your physician before starting or are changing an exercise program.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.