The Benefits of Exercise

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Joan Lunden

Fitness /

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I know you're looking at this section and saying to yourself, "Exercise: that's getting on a treadmill and sweating. That's boring, and I don't have the time." Let's get this straight up front: exercise isn't about suffering; exercise is about finding something you enjoy doing that also happens to protect your health, lift your mood, and give your energy level a kick in the butt.

If you're in your twenties and finishing school, starting a career, and perhaps looking for a mate, exercise is something you do for cosmetic reasons, to look good. You probably aren't thinking of it in terms of preventing heart disease and osteoporosis—your forties seem aeons away!

By the time you're into your thirties and perhaps juggling the demands of spouse, kids, and job, You start to realize that exercise has emotional benefits as well as physical benefits. It's at this time that many women start to reassess why they're exercising.

When you get into your forties, now you're hearing about osteoporosis, You have a friend who just had a mastectomy. So-and-so's friend died of heart disease. All of a sudden the statistics you've always heard about—that you thought were so many years away from you—come into serious consideration.

After menopause, heart disease is six to ten times more likely to kill a woman than breast cancer. After heart disease, everything else is a distant second, third, and fourth. Of course, that doesn't mean cancer isn't scary and that you shouldn't do breast self-exams and get your mammograms. However, we do know a lot about preventing heart disease today—and exercise is the key.

Research shows that if you can add just an extra thirty minutes of moderate activity to your everyday routines, you'll get a significant health payoff. So park a few blocks away from the office and walk in. Jog a bit with the dog. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride an exercise bike while you watch your favorite TV show. You'd be surprised at how fast you can accumulate that thirty minutes—and you thought you weren't an exercise person!

Source: HEALTHY LIVING by Joan Lunden & Laura Morton

Categories: Fitness
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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