Melissa Bailey Arizpe, Psy.D.

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

The “Myth” of Exercise

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Several weeks ago Time magazine had an article on the “Myth of Exercise.”  It was the cover story and I thought that maybe it was just an eye-cathcing headline.  I mean, who would really believe that exercise is not good for you.  I was wrong.  The article talked about how exercise is not worth it for a lot of people.  Particularly those who go out for coffee afterwards or overeat because they “exercised.”  In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth.  Any exercise is good exercise.  An article like that is just going to give those who don’t do any exercise an excuse not to. “Well, if Time said it, it must be true.”

One of the things I generally encourage patients is to increase movement.  This can be a simple as parking your car farther away from the door.  How many of us drive around the parking lot at the store looking for the closest spot possible.  Heck, we will even wait while someone packs up their car.  Guess what? There are usually plenty of parking spaces in the back of the lot.  This counts as movement–especially for those of us who have a sedentary job.   Of course, it would be great if you could make it to the gym everyday.  Reality is if you are not exercising regularly getting to the gym everyday is not going to last.  Instead, make small changes.   Park farther away.  Take a break at work and walk around the building or do a couple of flights of stairs.  Get the heart rate up for even a little bit.  Usually you are going to feel refreshed from the movement and will be able to focus more at your job.    Avoid the conveniences.  Take the stairs.  Take the long way.  Walk the mall.  When you are watching television, do some slight knee bends.  This all adds up.  Calories in-calories out.

Exercise is not a myth.  We need to keep moving.  Get yourself an inexpensive pedometer.  Even if it moves when you are in your seat at work–at least you are moving!   Try and get between 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.   Even the video game systems like the Wii and Nintendo DS have fitness programs–or just walking programs.

You don’t have to be a Michael Phelps or a Michelle Kwon.  You just have to do a little more each day.  Before you know it, you might make it to the gym a couple times a week. You might go for that walk after dinner.  Changes start small.  The moral of this story is that just because something is in a major magazine or in the news doesn’t mean it is true.

 

Now get moving!

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