The benefits of exercising in moderation

JEE exercise Prevention Magazine

Photograph by Callie Lipkin, Prevention Magazine

Exercise shouldn’t be intimidating. You don’t need to spend 1-2 hrs a day on the treadmill or bench press 300 lbs a day. It should never be “do or die.” In fact, moderate exercise provides the most health benefits. Jogging 2.5 hours a week at a slow pace (10-11 minutes per mile) is enough to get tremendous benefits.

I read this great article by Samuel Sattin on his journey to discovering the joy of exercising in moderation. Growing up, he associated exercise with “fear and confusion”: his dad would “bench press 450 lbs three times a week…and plow away at his stationary bicycle into the night, lifting and groaning for hours on end.” The fear and confusion dissipated when he enrolled in a yoga class, to realize that exercise wasn’t about competition but feeling good, physically and mentally. At his own pace.

…I’ve come to realize that as a young boy, all I needed to be told was that there were different ways to move; ways that weren’t worse just because they weren’t competitive. I needed to hear that being fit isn’t always a contest

I exercise moderately. I do brief periods of intense exercise, high intensity interval training (HIIT). That means several 90 sec periods of peak exercise. It burns more fat and calories than spending 45 minutes on a treadmill. Good for the heart, builds muscle, and effective for weight loss. You can do it anywhere, anytime, with no equipment. Great for those on a busy schedule. I balance aerobic and weight training.

Don’t know where to start? Here are basic resistance exercise for overweight beginners. Get your doctors clearance first!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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