Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 05. February 2010

Exercise for Your Heart….and More!

05. February 2010

Back in the ‘60’s, my Dad was a huge fan of Dr. Kenneth Cooper and his theories about aerobic exercise. (Because of Dr. Cooper, Dad may actually be the first guy ever to jog in the state of Iowa!) The now-famous medical doctor had the then wacky notion that exercise was good for your heart. (cooperaerobics.com) His research panned out and Dr. Cooper’s theories, of course, became universal truths.

Since then, more studies have proven exercise can stave off heart disease, lower blood pressure and stress levels and help maintain a healthy weight. But what’s exciting to me are the other benefits of exercise… the hidden benefits!

Here’s the buzz! Regular workouts may also boost your immune system! Imagine, being able to fight off colds and flu just by swimming, cycling or hitting the gym a few days a week! And it gets better! Time on the treadmill may also reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases, while slowing the aging process!

Look… February is the month we focus on heart health. And the best way to a healthy heart is through exercise. But look at all the “bang for you buck” you can get on that recumbent bike….beyond a healthy heart.

According to the American Council of Sports Medicine, that commitment to a brisk walk every day can:

  • lower the risk of stroke by 27%.
  • reduce the incidence of diabetes by half.
  • reduce the incidence of high blood pressure by some 40%.
  • reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by nearly 50%.
  • lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%.
  • reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 40%.
  • decrease depression as effectively (in some cases) as Prozac or behavioral therapy.

It’s just too good a deal to pass up! So, settle the issue now. Pick an activity. Something you enjoy. Work it into your schedule the way you would any priority in your life. Because these days, exercise is more than weight control and six-pack abs. It’s real medicine!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.