It’s not easy. Getting up from bed half an hour early to find the time to exercise before going to work. Even on these wonderfully light mornings it’s a struggle. I bought a cross-trainer. It sits in a small room in my house, with a great view of the garden, and with some inspirational music playing loudly I usually enjoy it. Afterwards. It’s getting started that’s the problem. But once I’m going, and can count down the minutes to when I stop, it isn’t that bad. And I do, I really do, feel better afterwards. And so it was this morning. I dragged myself to my exercise machine, and skipped away afterwards, heart rate and mood both elevated.
My motivation is my health, keeping my weight under control, exercising my heart and lungs, and trying to stay as fit as my two boys……………..
Finding the right motivation is important. I’ve written before in this blog about the importance of exercise in keeping weight under control, but also in fending off other health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. However I make no apology for bringing it to your attention again. It’s that important. But, a report from Macmillan Cancer Support says this week, exercise is important not only in preventing some forms of cancer, it’s also important in improving outcome levels. Their research shows that women with a diagnosis of breast cancer can reduce their risk of disease recurrence by 40%. Men with prostate cancer can reduce their risk of dying by 30%. And bowel cancer patients can reduce their risk of dying by up to 50%.
How much exercise? Same as for everybody else to maintain good health, around two and a half hours a week. They also showed that those undergoing treatment for cancer actually felt better and had more energy, not less, if they exercised regularly during treatment. Exercise can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, but is also important in preventing weight gain and other problems: just because you are unfortunate enough to have been diagnosed with one problem doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to succumb to another. Your health is still important to protect, for now, and for the future.
Prevention is always better than cure. But even after diagnosis, the importance of regular, moderately vigorous exercise can’t be understated. I’m fortunate. I don’t have any health problems, and I’m doing my best to make sure I don’t develop any soon. But making exercise a part of my daily “routine”, even if it does mean an early start several times a week, is a lot easier when I know why I’m doing it. Health today? Sure. And health tomorrow. Here’s hoping.