The ugly e-word…
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It seemed wise to not start this discussion with the ugly e-word: exercise. Many of us, when we hear the word, picture a sweaty emaciated person running at 7.5 miles per hour on a treadmill at a 10% elevation for hours on end. The fact of the matter is that more and more studies are showing the benefits of more basic exercise in terms of prolonging life and decreasing disability.
The simple act of walking for as little as 90 minutes per week has been shown to prolong life. We have known for decades that the most common cause of disability after age 65 is inactivity. So stop lusting after that expensive equipment you don't need and spend less time sitting at your computer, other than reading my blogs, of course. You have everything you need to develop a full exercise program right now!
Lastly, free weights, maximum 3-10 pounds per arm, are great for toning but the bench-pressing level of isometric activity has never been proven to have any long term benefits, and simple toning with free weights along with your new walking program can do just as much to enhance your appearance at the beach next summer.
Francis G. Wolf, MD, FACC, is a Aurora BayCare cardiologist whose fulltime practice is in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He also sees patients in Valders, Wisconsin. Dr. Wolf's special interests include congestive heart failure, coronary CT angiography, heart disease in women, risk factor and lifestyle modification, and heart disease in an aging population.