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Well, I did it again. Another week has passed without following through on my one-hundredth commitment to daily exercise. I’m well aware of the benefits and importance of a faithful exercise program. I do get some exercise from yard work and walking back and forth to the refrigerator…but I know I must get committed to a regular program.


Before I share my newest plan (I have convinced myself this one will work) let’s look at five benefits to a faithful exercise program:

1. Ohio State University did a survey and found people got greater benefits in physical and mental energy when they exercised outdoors.[1] I personally would not run or walk along a busy street and be exposed to the fumes as well as the dust. A rubberized track at a school is always desirable.

2. Exercise can take years off your brain and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise magazine reported that exercise lowered the levels of C-reactive protein—an inflammatory blood marker linked to heart disease by 10 percent after one year.

4. It is reported that women who exercise reduce breast cancer risks of dying by 47 percent.

5. Regular exercise will improve your attitude, energy, relationships, and a host of other things—including, I believe, your spiritual life.

You may prefer joining a gym rather than having equipment in your home. Check out the prices for each option before making your choice. Some have found getting back and forth to the gym takes too much time and find it easier to slip on their shoes and exercise at home. Regardless, be sure to purchase a good pair of exercise shoes that are lightweight. There are other less expensive options such as elastic bands that are great for body toning.

When starting your exercise program, be sure to start slow. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor who will suggest a program that fits you personally. Don’t try to do too much at the beginning. Warm up at a slow pace and as the days go by you will be able to increase your tempo.

I realized that I needed to get started on my own exercise program before finishing this article. Here was my plan for motivation: First of all, I made a verbal commitment to my family. Dangerous! I developed a calendar and posted it where everyone can see my progress. Scary! Each day I am faithful to the program, I record exercise times on the calendar. On days I might miss, my family can write anything they want to in that day’s space. Also scary!

I am honestly surprised at how much better I feel since I started this program. My energy is up and I feel more alive and alert. My family has their pencils ready, but they will never use them! Exercise is now part of my life. Join me?

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By David Snyder. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 Prevention, April 2010

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