“Exercise: cheap, effective treatment!”

“Exercise: cheap, effective treatment!”
That was the headline of a story in the AJC this week.  And it’s absolutely true!Over the past 20 years, studies have shown exercise to be an effective prescription to treat and to prevent many of the most common, chronic, 21st century diseases.  And the studies are still coming in.

According to Beth Prairie, MD, of Midlife Women’s Association, a healthcare practice in western Pennsylvania, “Exercise is one of the most effective, accessible and affordable medicines we can use.”  Dr. Vonda Wright, director of performance and research initiatives for a medical center in Pittsburgh, says, “There are 33 chronic diseases that are modified by the medicine of motion.  Mobility as medicine changes us right down to our stem cells.”  The only thing I would add is that in addition to productive movement, we also, concurrently, need to eat supportively which means clean foods in the right amounts to support our physical activity and goals.

What are these chronic diseases? The top ones are Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Cardio Vascular Disease, but studies also point to benefits in preventing and recovering from cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more!

It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Start moving and start small.  Get up from your chair every hour and walk around the room or at least stand and stretch. Park your car further from the front door every time you drive.  Take the stairs whenever possible.  Try to take regular walks at lunch time or after dinner.  Start with 5 minutes. That’s 2½ minutes out and 2½ minutes back.

Remember, you will have to commit and then force yourself to get started.  But once you get used to moving, you’ll look forward to it.  And best of all, you’ll feel great–you’ll be healthier and you’ll save money on healthcare!

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