A recent article in Forbes Magazine has a provocative headline “If You Want to Live Longer, This Study Suggests You Exercise A Lot More Than Previously Recommended.”
The challenge, most people already know this, but they still neglect exercise recommendations. Now, we’re trying to tell them to exercise more? When 80 percent of people fail to meet the bare minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate activity, how are articles like this helpful? It truly is the definition of insanity, but the sentiment is appreciated.
We are all aware of the myriad reasons we should exercise – the physical benefits, the mood-boosting mental perks, improved quality of life, longer life expectancy, setting a good example for our kids, preventing disease, etc. Sometimes the alarming sedentary call of the sofa, work, social media or running errands might just be too strong.
But we also cannot minimize that people frequently do not exercise enough because of the sad misperception that it has to be hard, or even hurt to be effective.
Exercise to Live Longer, But There’s No One-Size-Fits-All
When 6 in 10 adults in the US have a chronic disease and over 20 percent have chronic pain, why in the world are unrealistic fitness goals and expectations held up in front of us every single day, everywhere we look? For decades, we have purchased memberships and classes with the idea that we need 45–60-minute workouts or it just was not worth the effort. We have also convinced ourselves that a short run or bike ride just was not worth the time. In this “all or nothing” mindset, the choice to exercise can feel hard and it is too easy to say, ‘not today,’ especially if someone is super busy or struggles with limited mobility due to an injury, disability, or chronic health condition.
What if people knew the science of exercise and that it does not have to be hard or hurt to be effective. How about if we focused less on “killer workouts” that “torch calories” and “sculpt bodies” and focused more on encouraging realistic goals. What if we got smarter about exercise prescriptions and the role of realistic exercise to reduce the risk of, or prevent chronic disease?
Exercise is Medicine, Exercise Prescriptions Are Motivating
The truth is exercise, especially exercise prescriptions, does not have to be hard to have a positive impact on your health. It does not have to hurt to be effective. It also does not have to be done all at once (we are fans of snacking on exercise throughout the day).
But the Forbes article does capture good news from the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation for those who do love to go hard, pushing back on prior research that suggested participating in high-intensity endurance sports like marathons could lead to cardiovascular damage. Crucially, the study found no link to adverse cardiovascular health effects for those who exercised more than four times the recommendations for moderate and vigorous activity, countering prior studies that suggested there may be a limit to the benefits of exercise or even a detrimental effect of excessive exercise in extreme cases.
At Excy, we have had the privilege of helping people exercise even when all odds are stacked against them. Cancer. Disabilities. A temporary or permanent injury that changes mobility. A terminal disease. Debilitating chronic disease and pain. Those who are bedridden.
Our customers are smart and know why they exercise.
They all have what we call a three-legged-stool foundation that keeps them moving towards their goals: They are willing, able, and persistent!
When we talk to our customers, rarely does anyone tell us they exercise to live longer. So, what do they tell us? They exercise to manage pain, to prevent the progression of disease, to improve mobility and range of motion, to be more independent, and for their mental health. For them, exercise is about improving their quality of life, as well as the quality of life of those around them.
It is why we highlight so many different approaches to exercise:
Excy is Full of Opportunities for Exercise Prescriptions
From cardio and strength training to range of motion and isometric exercises, Excy makes it easy to safely cycle your whole self strong anywhere, anytime. Snacking on exercise where you live, work, and play has never been easier on your schedule or your joints. We have an extensive library of on-demand and live recumbent exercise bike, upper body ergometer, unicycle, upright bike, lying down exercises and more.
Videos on proper mechanics from physical therapists help get you started, and a mobile coaching application is available 24 hours per day for your whole household. Whether you are an athlete, just starting your fitness journey, or living with limited mobility due to illness or an injury, Excy has workouts for all fitness levels and goals.
Can You Get a “Killer Workout”, “Torch Calories”, and “Sculpt with Excy?
Of course you can! We have 2-70 pounds of bi-directional resistance. Our goal has always been and will always be to meet you where you are at and help you get to where you want to go!
For those who are willing, able, and persistent, Excy will always be ready! We know people need to exercise to live longer, but a prescriptive approach to exercise for EVERY BODY is far more effective.
Talk to your doctor, physical therapist, and a certified personal trainer for purposeful exercise prescriptions.