Pain Relief For Arthritis Happy Valley & Sandy, OR

Exercise, Still the Fountain of Youth

Exercise Exercise, Still the Fountain of YouthWe came across an interesting article on exercise in people over 60. It simply states that even 15 min of exercise per day can reduce your risk of death (over a 10 year period) by more than 20%. This made me think about a few things; 1. “go exercise” can feel like a very daunting suggestion, 2. there are enough day-to-day tasks that it’s hard to carve out time, 3. aches, pains and fear of worsening injuries can make us feel stuck, and 4. can such little exercise really be enough?

I took a look at the original research and found that it really continues the conversation we have been having about finding time to exercise. While this study looked at people over 60, I think we can infer that no matter who you are, you need to find a way to exercise and by the looks of it, every day. The good news is that it really doesn’t take that much to see the benefits. 75 min a week was found to be the minimum dose (or 15 min per day). It doesn’t have to be heroic, as even relatively low intensities still yield these positive results. Brisk walking, aggressive gardening, riding a bike, aerobics class (or video), taking your dog around the block, house cleaning and yard work all made the cut for “what is enough” as long as they were done with some intensity. The research cites “4.0 METs” which leaves the question, what is that?

Here is a list of seemingly random activities and the METs (how hard they are) to give you an idea of what is and is not enough to count toward your 15 min. To keep it simple, nearly anything that gets you breathing even a little bit hard counts. If it’s going to be walking it should be fairly quick, if it’s housework you might need to be moving furniture or books, but it doesn’t have to be at a gym and it certainly doesn’t have to leave you feeling exhausted. If you can hold a conversation during the task but have to interrupt your sentences to take a casual breath then you are likely doing it right. The moral of the story, go do something fun today. Pick something you are interested in and go do it with enthusiasm and you will actually be doing something good for yourself! While every exercise program should be started gradually, if you find that you are unable to perform 15 min of activity their may be underlying issues that should be addressed by your PCP. If pain is keeping you from exercising, odds are physical therapy can help. Stop by and see us in the Happy Valley Town Center or call to make an appointment.

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