Men’s Health Month comes every June and with it, it brings awareness of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
What if I could provide you something that could prolong your life by reducing risk of cancer, lessen risk of heart diseases, lower one’s chances of having gallstones, relieve body and mind of stress and improve lung function?
Further, this small life change could lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and improve bowel function and yes, prolong life. This sounds like a magic elixir, super vitamin, or life-altering supplement. What if these benefits could be achieved with just 5-10 minutes a day of application? You're probably saying this is an infomercial gone mad or just pure fantasy.
Actually, it is simply regular exercise. About now upon hearing this, your eyes roll and you start to tune out because you may have heard thousands of reminders coming in the form of "150 minutes a week of moderate to high intensity exercise is the key." I think this is where most people get off the fitness train, and head for the couch.
Speaking of the couch, studies show that there is increased mortality (greater chance of dying earlier) with just sitting down too much. This has been a more obvious problem with COVID-19 with recent stay-at-home orders, telework and no workout facilities.
This is why taking five minutes a day to exercise is important. Even moderate exercise such as washing the car, working in the garden, taking a brisk walk or doing home repair, all count as exercise. Not necessarily going to the gym for an hour every day. Try 5-10 minutes in the morning, at lunch or dinner.
It's likely, once consistent, the positive mental and physical feedback will allow one to increase time and intensity. But even if at low time spans, benefits continue.
When I talk to patients about this subject, I tell them it is the most efficient pill ever invented: treating high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension at the same time. My goal is to lower the bar of expectation, and seek and take advantage of the smallest sliver of motivation and opportunity to just get people moving. All I am asking for is five minutes of your time.