Meigs Health Matters… The Importance of Exercise

What if I told you that I had a pill that you could take and the benefits of that pill include: weight loss, happiness, energy, lowers the risk of chronic diseases, gives you healthier skin, contributes to better sleep improves your brain function, lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease, and ultimately allows you to live longer. This pill that I am offering you also has no side effects; would you take it Without question, you and everyone else would love to take this miracle cure.

What I am describing to you is not a magic bullet, just exercise. We all know exercise is important, but we rarely take the time to apply it in our lives. At some point in your life you made a decision to exercise. Whether this decision was based on a New Year’s resolution or based on a recommendation from your doctor, we have all made this decision. Although after a few days of this personal commitment we are faced with the decision, “it is really worth it”. To help make that decision, let’s look at some proven statistics.

Exercise has proven itself:

Help Control Or Lose Weight: Exercising increases heart rate and burns calories that you have consumed throughout the day. Burning these excess calories will help prevent the person from becoming overweight or reaching obesity. The obesity prevalence in the US is currently 42%, causing 2.8 million deaths annually.

Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease: Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease by strengthening the heart and improving blood flow. Statistics show that over 16 million Americans have coronary artery disease.

Improve Sleep: Studies show that exercise can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Exercise has also been confirmed to: Strengthen bones and muscles; Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes; Increase the chances of living longer; Improved Brain Health and Memory; and can even make you happier.

How to Create a Sustainable Habit:

Exercise offers proven lifelong benefits that are not only noticeable, but are worthwhile. Before making a commitment, you need to know where to start. Including physical activity in your daily life doesn’t always relate to weight lifting. The path to a sustainable healthy habit in life is to start small. The CDC recommends that adults exercise 150 minutes a week, or just under 25 minutes a day. This 25 minute goal can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as taking a walk / running, a hike, or just taking the stairs via the elevator.

The bottom line:

Today’s technology has made it possible to align work and leisure with a sedentary lifestyle. Our obesity rates are rising dramatically and are a direct result of the advances we’ve made. Shake things up and make the decision to exercise today. Opt to take a walk as if your life depends on it because it actually does.

This article was brought to you by Create Healthy Communities and the Meigs Health Department. We strive to make Meigs County a happier, healthier place by promoting active living and healthy eating in our community. For more information, call us at 740-992-6626 or visit our website at

Michael Davis is the CHC Program Director.