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February 17th, 2020

Why Exercise?

If you exercise regularly, ask yourself why you do so?

Common answers, will be:

1) It feels good
2) It is a habit
3) It is part of my healthy lifestyle
4) My doctor tells me I need to exercise

If you are in this camp, keep up the good work, regardless of your reason!

Note that this is a different question than "why should you exercise". The question "why exercise" deals with your personal motivation, while "why should you" deals with the benefits of exercise. The many benefits of exercise are well documented, and include:

1) Prevention of various health problems (cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, falls, etc).
2) Build strength
3) Boost energy
4) Maintain healthy body weight
5) Promote better sleep

Now for the more important and more "challenging to address" question. If you do not exercise regularly, "why not"? Common reasons will be no time, physical issues or lack of motivation. For those of you in this camp, I naturally recommend that you do exercise. Here are some comments that may help you get there:

1) Ask yourself "what will motivate you"?
2) Embrace the benefits of exercise that apply to you. Heart issues? Joint/Pain issues? Use your issues as motivation to exercise.
3) Join a gym with the most important criteria being convenient access (close to home or work or regular driving route).
4) While it is possible to exercise at home, most folks will not have the willpower to regularly exercise there.... Hats off to those that can do this!
5) Recognize that even 5 minutes a day of exercise can be beneficial. Walking may be a good place to start, but recognize that there are other exercises that will be more effective and possibly less time consuming. Do not accept or get discouraged by the Department of Health' s recommendation for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and strength training for all the major muscle groups at least twice per week.
6) Hire a personal trainer. Note that this can be done on a regular scheduled basis if you need a motivator or on a one-time basis if you just need help with designing a program that meets your needs.
7) Understand that building a habit takes time, but look forward to a habit that makes you feel good about yourself. Shoot for regular, consistent exercise sessions of a few minutes each to start.
8) Keep your exercise routine as simple as possible. You do not need to do yoga, pilates, and kickboxing on Monday and a different program on other days!!
9) Find a workout partner or two to hold you more accountable.
10) Think positively about movement.

Be physically well,

Dave Fairhall is a personal trainer who specializes in adult fitness. Working with so many adults with a variety of fitness levels and various health conditions, he has developed a unique perspective of the best ways to exercise and achieve optimal fitness. Dave can be found at the Snap Fitness in Davidson.