Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us! 

You’ve heard it many times before: exercise is good for you. In fact, we hear about the benefits of exercise so often it starts to sound like a broken record. And it turns into a should: “I should exercise more.” “I should find time for exercise.” Or a shouldn’t: “I shouldn’t be so lazy.” These “should” statements don’t really help us overcome obstacles. Instead, try to restate it, “I am going to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day because it will make me happier and healthier.” That’s better.

A recent study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found that women are less likely than men to get 30 minutes of exercise daily, and this puts them at greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Lead researcher Paul Loprinzi stated, “Those who get 30 minutes a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol, and less likely to have metabolic syndrome.”

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes a group of risk factors—abnormal blood lipid levels, high blood pressure, abdominal obesity (belly fat), and high blood sugar—and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Almost 35 percent of American adults have metabolic syndrome. Luckily, addressing lifestyle factors like physical activity and diet can reverse this condition.

This week, start by tracking your physical activity. If you aren’t getting at least 30 minutes a day, figure out how you can add more time each day. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from your destination to add a few minutes of walking when you can, and find a physical activity that you enjoy so that you are more inclined to do it. Finally, remember why you want to be healthy. Maybe it’s because you want to be around to enjoy your grandchildren, or even your children, more. Maybe it’s because you want to feel good. Keep reminding yourself of this reason and find ways to get moving.