The Ten on Tuesday people had really good ideas for staying motivated. I conjure up a different approach.
Fear is a great motivator. I do not want to feel my age. I don't want to huff and puff up a flight of stairs. I do not want to be told X years down the line that I have a disease I could have forestalled with more physical activity.
Etherknitter reads the medical literature and the lay press. She sees:
Bla bla blah exercise blah bla bla alzheimers blah blah bla bla blah WHAT?
1. Anti-Alzheimer's disease: I have had these links up on my windows bar for weeks. (Perhaps that is depressing.) I see it as one small iota of a potential change in fate. Death and taxes, inevitable. But let's try to achieve the run-up to the former in functional shape for as long as one can.
The NYT summarizes the study very well. If you have a certain gene variation (APOE-e4), you are more likely to develop Alzheimer's. If you have that gene variation, AND you exercise, your brain will show fewer changes of the disease. Your brain looks pretty much like the brain of people without that genetic whammy. The original neurology article is here, for the science geeks.
The test for APOE-e4 is available, but not encouraged. That is because if you have the gene, you may or may not develop the disease. And if you don't have the gene, you can still develop Alzheimer's. So I exercise.
2. Diabetes: Exercising with higher intensity intervals burns mostly glucose. That means that more sugar burning = less need for the body to release insulin. Less insulin release = less potential in the future for insulin insensitivity, which therefore means less risk of Type II diabetes.
My family history sucks, and I listen. Intervals are very satisfying. Feels good after I am done, and I have actually done something really good for my physiology.
3. Cancer reduction: This link is a recent description of lessening breast cancer risk across all age groups with exercise. One in eight. Miserable odds. I'll jump on that elliptical, yessirree. All you have to do is talk to one woman with either triple-negative cancer, or inflammatory breast cancer, and prevention comes quickly to mind. Prior discussion on the blog is here.
4. Cholesterol reduction: 150 minutes per week. Yug. But yeah, if you are happy taking a statin every day, you can achieve the same thing. Unless the statin affects your liver. Or gives you muscle aches. I really like my current status of no daily meds other than calcium and vitamin D. This would not be the sole reason to exercise for me. Call it an added attraction.
5. Appearance: I'm so vain. I like the way I look in clothes when I have muscles more than how I look in clothes when I have fat. It is a motivator.
I could come up with five more, but this is enough for now. Not all exercise is on an elliptical or a treadmill. Some of it comes with outdoor serenity and joy.