Archive for April, 2013

Excuses For Not Exercising

We all know that regular exercise is one of the most powerful single ways to a long, healthy and happy life.  But how many of us do it regularly?  Regularly doesn’t have to mean spending hours in a gym – in fact 30 to 45 minutes of exercise every other day is enough to make a big difference!

As I said, we all know this – but, just like we all know we should, there are dozens of reasons why we don’t.  EXCUSES!  We all have them – and right at the top of the list is, “I DON’T HAVE TIME.”  Other reasons (EXCUSES!) include:

  • NO ENERGY
  • NO PLACE TO DO IT
  • NO MONEY FOR A GYM

Sound familiar?  Well, get your excuses ready, because I am going to start addressing them right now, beginning with “I don’t have time.”

One of the biggest excuses for not exercising regularly is, “I don’t have the time.”  Well, remember, we are not talking about a lot of time here – 30 to 45 minutes every other day.  That’s 15 to 25 minutes a day!  Most importantly, your exercise doesn’t have to be done all at the same time.  You can divide it up into shorter chunks.  So here are a few tips on how to find the time for regular exercise:

  • Get up a little earlier!  Instead of hitting the snooze button 3 times, only hit it once.  There’s 18 minutes right there!
  • Take a 15-minute walk at lunchtime – even better, get a friend to go with you.  Keep picking up the pace!  See how far you can go in 15 minutes and then increase the distance every week – but keep it at 15 minutes.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator at work – at least for a few floors.
  • Run up and down the stairs for five or ten minutes a couple of times a day.
  • Get off the bus or train one stop early and walk.

You get the idea.  You can figure out a plan for yourself.  And, best of all, what you will actually find is that you have more time in your day because the exercise is giving you more energy!

Speaking of energy, we will talk about the “NO ENERGY” excuse next time!

Lowering Your Risk for Heart Disease

There are many tips that can help you lower your risk of heart disease. Here are a few of the more important ones:

  • Exercise daily and stop smoking.
  • Stand when you can instead of sitting. Try to move around every hour if you have to sit all day.
  • Keep your blood sugars under control.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Stay warm during cold, windy winter weather by covering your neck and head.
  • Eat beans (black, navy, garbanzos, red, or white – green beans do not count) four times a week.  This, according to the National Health and Examination Survey, has been shown to lower heart disease by 22%.
  • Multiple research studies suggest that steel cut oatmeal can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol due to the oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content. Include other foods with high fiber content like fruits and vegetables in your regular diet.
  • Use monounsaturated fats including olive oil.
  • Eat fatty fish (including salmon) 2-3 times a week (or take a fish oil supplement).
  •  Sleep 7-8 hour per night
  • Finally, stay mentally positive. An analysis of over 200 studies by Harvard University concluded, “The more optimistic you are the less likely you are to have a heart attack.”  The “glass is half full” should become your mantra until it becomes second nature. Consider meditation, deep breathing, therapy, volunteering, socializing, getting a pet, prayer or anything that will improve your outlook.

There are instances where stress, anxiety and depression can be the primary cause of, or induce, a heart attack.