Taking a Time-Out from Exercise

I have to admit when I look at someone sitting in a hammock I immediately relax.  It’s a symbol for  instant gratification, reading a book, or daydreaming. It does not remind me of taking that 30 minute walk that I promised to do.  A few days ago, I listened to an orator who suggested that the 30 minute walk I take every day is an act of “selflove”. That’s right.  He said, it takes a lot of ‘selflove’ to exercise, when you really want to do something else. Many of us would not think about it that way.  Do you?

Let’s talk about what happens when you take a ‘time-out’ from exercise both for seniors and younger adults. I’m not referring to a day or two.  That might be OK, but if you do that for a few weeks, the consequences become much more pervasive.  Here are some of the benefits that exercising on a regular basis provides us with: works against Type 2 diabetes; heightened blood sugar; protects against heart disease; lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.  As seniors, we are often reminded of these points by our doctors.  For younger people, it’s easier to reverse these issues.
I try to get close to 10,000 steps a day. This includes a 30 minute walk, which is about 4,000 steps.   During the course of the rest of the day, I try to get 6,000 more steps or close to it by moving every chance I get.

 If I decided to just take a ‘time-out’ by doing 2,000 steps or less a day for two weeks, according to a research study certain  ‘metabolic derangements‘, would occur: my blood sugar levels would rise, my cholesterol profile would become less healthy, and I would lose muscle mass in my legs while gaining fat in my abdomen.
This fact is more important for us seniors.  If you are past the age of 65 and at risk of developing diabetes, it is clear,  according to some of these studies, that ‘inactivity’ is not good for us.  Move as much as you can because when you take a break, it may mean that you will not be able to reverse the consequences of staying still.

So seniors – give yourself some love and keep moving!

Phys Ed, Gretchen Reynolds, NYTimes


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