Move It or Lose It

The adage “move it or lose it” is applicable regarding exercise and our health. Data shows that regular exercise decreases the risk of mortality/death in both men and women, young and old. It has been proven that regular exercise reduces the risk dying specifically from heart disease.

We need to move our bodies to ensure our optimal health.

Why Exercise is Important

Exercise allows you to maximize your physical and mental body to live long and strong. Research shows that exercise reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. The hormones serotonin and dopamine are naturally increased during and after exercise. Exercise will not only make you look good, it will make you feel good.

Age is Irrelevant When it Comes to Exercise

No matter your age, you need to move it or lose it. Moderate physical activity for 90-150 minutes is recommended weekly for adults.

Studies show that children who exercise are more likely to continue exercising in adulthood. As parents, we should encourage our children to not only eat their vegetables but to go outside and play. We need to change the way our children think about physical activity and encourage them to be active as well.

A goal to strive for is 30 minutes of activity five times a week.

If you are limited physically, even brisk walking has shown to be beneficial for your health. Do what you can. Elderly people can walk in temperature-controlled shopping centers for exercise. The buggies are available to assist with mobilization. Go during non-peak hours to avoid the crowds and for convenience. The only cost is a good pair of walking shoes, and it also encourages socialization.

There are also many local churches and civic organizations that offer everything from chair aerobics to Zumba at minimal or no cost. Where there is a will, there is a way to exercise for even the most fragile patient. Discuss these options with your doctor. Some people should begin with physical therapy to assess and evaluate the best and safest exercise routine.

What If I Have a Disability or Limited Mobility?

If you are over 50 years old or have diabetes, heart disease or hypertension, discuss with your primary doctor before embarking on an exercise regimen. The benefits of exercise have been documented to reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and even some forms of cancer.

The big negative to exercise is the possibility of injury. I do caution against trying to be a “weekend warrior”.

The best way to ease into an exercise routine is slow and steady.

Obesity is worsened by the lack of exercise but arthritis limits many exercises. Obesity in return increases the risk and worsens arthritis especially in the weight bearing joints such as the back, hip and knees. A recumbent bicycle, pool aerobics and swimming are recommended for people suffering with arthritis and /or obesity. These exercises specifically limit the gravitational pull and pressure on the joints. There is an exercise option available for everyone.

For those that are home bound and /or on walkers, walk inside the house the length of your home an extra couple times a day. People in wheelchairs that are home bound can still exercise utilizing exercise bands. A novel idea and one that is cost effective is to use canned goods for free weights while you watch your favorite TV show.

There is no excuse not to find an exercise routine that fits into your level of health and lifestyle.

Exercise is vitally important for all of us, but it has been shown to decrease falls and dementia in the elderly.

I’m Too Busy to Exercise!

You can make time to be active. Exercising with your spouse is a great way to remain physically fit and stay connected. For working people on a time crunch, park farther and take the stairs and dedicate 15 minutes of your lunch to walking. Where there is a will, there is a way. Just remember to move it or lose it!

Parents can take a walk around the park while the kids are at soccer practice. Keep a pair of sneakers in your car just in case you can sneak a few minutes of exercise in. We can get our exercise and our daily dose of the sunshine vitamin-D in at the ballpark. Other benefits from exercise for women in particular are that weight-bearing exercise specifically has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Exercise also has been shown to decrease the length and discomfort of menstrual cycles.

It’s Time to Move It or Lose It!

Life is choice driven, and you live or you die by the choices you make.

Stroke, heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and dementia are linked to lack of exercise. Studies show that there is an increased risk of DYING by not exercising regularly. We have to Move It or Lose It.

We need to choose to exercise and make time and not excuses for doing it.

Choose exercise and proper diet so that you may live in good health and prosperity. It will impact your physical, emotional and spiritual well being… and remember to move it or lose it.


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“Move it or lose it: Dr. Hickman’s physical fitness tips.” Dr. Danika Hickman, St. Vincent’s Health System. Retrieved 24 April 2016. <>.