Dermatologist offers her personal insights
A regular, weekly exercise routine has been proven to increase longevity and prevent many of the most common health problems.
I’ve been writing about it for years and am a big proponent of exercise for health and vitality. But, how do you stay motivated to get your exercise on a daily basis and how much exercise do you need to do?
How do you stay motivated to exercise every week?
By seeing people who exercise and who look and feel great. My husband, who reads the Wall Street Journal every morning, just sent me a link to a very motivating local woman featured in the WSJ – and we don’t live anywhere near New York. Click here to see the article and photo. I hope to be her at 89!
The article discusses 89 year-old Gail Roper, who lives in Healdsburg (our part of the world), and she is diligent about her exercise. She swims three times a week and more. She is a former U.S. Olympian and has been a Masters swimmer for years. She also finds ways to turn daily housework into fitness exercises such as doing lunges when she vacuums or bicep curls with a cold iron before ironing! It’s creative multitasking and gets the exercises into her day. And – the photo of her in the WSJ shows her energy, happiness and vitality. For me, Gail is a role model. If I resemble Gail in any way when I am 89, I’ll be thrilled.
What diseases does exercise help to prevent and reverse?
The benefits of exercise have been shown to help fight and slow some of the most common health problems::
- Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke.
- Diabetes and obesity. Exercise helps you better maintain a healthy blood sugar and energy level.
- Arthritis and back pain (both of which I have battled and I know from personal experience that exercise is essential).
- Dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s
- Cancer (which matters a lot to me thanks to inheriting the BRCA breast and ovarian cancer gene and being a cancer survivor myself).
Exercise has even been shown to reverse cellular aging – Yes, turn back your cellular clock.
Why does exercise keep you healthy?
Exercise changes your body’s physiology:
- helping to fight inflammation that promotes cancer, cardiovascular disease and many of the other common health problems;
- boosting your immune system; and
- lowering your risk of obesity (also linked to health problems and increased risk of cancer).
It probably does so much more that is yet to be discovered. I know that I look and feel so much more alive and energetic after a good workout. The photo of Gail supports this – I want to look as vital as Gail does if I am lucky enough to make it to 89.