LIVING WELL

HOW MUCH DOES EXERCISE REALLY AFFECT RISK OF CHRONIC ILLNESS?


Risk is a statistical concept. No one can say exactly how much exercise will reduce an individual’s risk of a given illness. Overweight people with mild hypertension or type II diabetes will probably gain a great deal of benefit from regular exercise programs, while people already fairly healthy may have less measurable reductions in disease risk. Of course, everyone can benefit from regular exercise as it helps us look and feel better and slows the aging process.

Studies suggest that about 250,000 lives in the United States could be saved each year if everyone incorporated at least 30 minutes of daily activity into his/her lifestyle. But we’ll never know if you or any individual is one of the 250,000 saved this year. Fortunately, most of us can feel the benefits of our exercise programs, and we know they are working!

I encourage everyone regardless of age, current health, or current weight to begin an exercise program immediately. It’s not too late to give up on your health and the health of your family.

Remember: If we don’t take care of our bodies, where else will we live?

Lynn Pass is owner of The Gym in Oneonta. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance from Auburn University and personal training and aerobic certifications in ACE, AFFA, and ACSM.