Exercise is worth it!
By Beth Cecil
Owensboro Health HealthPark dietitian
This week at the HealthPark we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary. For 10 years now the HealthPark has been working to improve the health of our community. This is a huge event for us and perhaps you will be involved too. We have a busy week planned including the special appearance by NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” celebrity fitness trainer Bob Harper on Saturday, October 25th.
Whether you are a HealthPark member or not, this is a great occasion for our community and the perfect time to take a look at the amount of physical activity you get each day.
As a dietitian I often see patients for weight loss counseling. While I don’t have the expertise of an exercise physiologist, I still address it, and actually I find that anymore I am talking almost as much about the importance of getting adequate physical activity as I am about proper eating habits. After all, a good weight management program consists of both: eating a balanced healthful diet with fewer calories and getting exercise or physical activity to burn more calories.
Physical activity has many benefits and can improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, lead to better sleep and of course help with weight management. Studies even show that exercise is the main key to maintaining weight loss.
Getting started on an exercise program can be tough though and the number one excuse people give for not exercising is that they feel they don’t have the time. Other reasons I often hear is that people can’t afford to join a fitness center or don’t have a good place to get activity if the weather outside is bad.
But if including exercise into your daily routine means you might get to eat a little more or lose weight quicker, do you think maybe you might find a way to fit it in?
Additionally, you may be able to avoid or reverse health problems with a moderate exercise program. And the truth is, it doesn’t have to cost much money or time at all. Finding the time for exercise might be just as easy as finding the time to watch your favorite television program. Here are some suggestions for getting exercise right at home.
If you own a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike, clear those clothes off of it and place it in front of your television. Exercise will come much easier if you have your favorite program to pass the time.
Use hand weights for bicep curls, overhead shoulder presses, front and side arm raises and triceps extensions. You can even use soup cans or water bottles if you don’t have hand weights.
You could also invest in leg weights, a fitball, or therabands to help you tone your body and this all can be done in your own home. These are reasonably priced and often will come with a set of exercise instructions and a variety of exercise ideas. Also for a minimal cost there is a wide selection of exercise videos you can purchase.
Finally, if you can’t get outside, walk around your house or even walk or jog in place while watching TV or talking on the phone.
The main goal is just to get active. Adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity most days of the week and children should aim for at least 60 minutes a day. Remember of course to start exercise slowly and to use proper form. If you have health concerns you may want to check first with your doctor.
Owensboro Health’s mission is to heal the sick and improve the health of our community. While you may relate the HealthPark only to fitness it offers so much more! Just a few examples of our many services include diabetes and nutrition counseling, outpatient therapies, monthly community health screenings, massage therapy, health fairs, counseling services, senior programs, heart risk screenings, car seat installations and checks, CPR training, cancer support groups, adult and children’s weight programs and many educational programs for the community. While some of these programs require a fee, many do not and financial assistance is often available. For more information, check out the new Owensboro Health website.