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 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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