Exercise Really Is the Best Medicine

I am frequently asked how I stay motivated and dedicated to my health and fitness goals. The reality is, after suffering from years of unexplained illnesses, I decided there was not a greater priority than my health. In the process of healing, I found exercise combined with fueling my body with nutrient dense foods was definitely the best medicine.

Do you need to lower your blood pressure or strengthen your immune system, bones or heart? Are you at risk for developing diabetes? Do you suffer from arthritis or back pain? Do you want to improve your metabolism and sleep and be mentally stronger and happier? Cardiovascular and strength training is the best prescription with no unwanted side effects.

The new year is a perfect time to focus on how to make your fitness goals a reality, even in your busy, unique life. What would your life be like in 2020 if you made exercise a priority? Do you know how empowering being strong and healthy feels?

A vital component of starting physical activity is effective goal setting. Well-designed goals typically increase motivation and accountability. An effective strategy to goal setting is to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals.

There is not an effective one-size-fits-all training program. Fortunately, there are innumerable ways to get physical activity. To reduce health problems, health authorities recommend at least 150 minutes of cardio per week. This can be accomplished in 10-minute episodes if necessary. You have 10,080 minutes in a week to accomplish this. Doesn’t that seem doable?

Pair your cardio with strength training two times per week for amazing benefits. Besides increased strength, it helps maintain muscle tissue, which maintains metabolism. Without some strength training you could lose 8-10 percent of muscle tissue and lower your metabolism by 8-10 percent every decade after 30. Did you know muscle burns three times the amount of calories than fat? Strength training is also effective in improving bone health. Strong muscles and bones reduce the risk of falls and injuries. A healthy combination of cardio and strength training will help your body perform at it’s best.

My favorite thing about being a personal trainer is seeing lives change in countless ways, just like mine did, when health and fitness are priorities. Your body is incredible and can do amazing things. Embrace it, love it, move it and give it the power to help you lead a healthy vibrant life.

By Anne Gilbertson, certified personal trainer

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