Meigs Health Matters… The importance of exercise

By Michael Davis - Meigs Health Matters

What if I told you that I had a pill that you could take, and the benefits to taking this pill include: weight loss, happiness, energy, lowers your risk of chronic illness, gives you healthier skin, contributes to better sleep, improves your brain function, lowers your risk for cancer and heart disease, and ultimately will allow you to live longer. This pill I am offering you also has no side effects; would you take it? Without question you and every other person would gladly take this miracle drug.

What I am describing to you is not a miracle drug, but simply just exercise. We all understand exercise is important, however we rarely take the time to apply it to our lives. At some point in your life, you made the decision to start exercising. Whether that decision was based on a new year’s resolution, or because of a recommendation from your physician, we have all made that choice. Although, after a few days into this personal commitment we are faced with a decision, “is it really worth it.” To make that decision, let’s review some proven statistics.

Exercise has been proven to:

Help control or lose weight: Exercising increases the heart rate and burns calories that you have consumed throughout the day. Burning these excess calories helps in preventing the individual from becoming overweight or reaching obesity. The U.S. obesity prevalence is currently 42% and accounts for 2.8 million deaths annually.

Reduces your risk for heart disease: Exercise lowers your risk for heart disease by strengthening the heart and improving circulation. Statistics show that over 16 million Americans have coronary heart disease.

Improve sleep: Studies show that exercise can help individuals fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Exercise also has been confirmed to: Strengthen bones and muscles; Reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes; Increase chances for living longer; Improved brain health and memory; and Can even make you feel happier.

How to create a sustainable habit:

Exercise offers proven life-long benefits that are not only noticeable but worth it. Before making a commitment, you need to know where to start. Including physical activity in your daily life doesn’t always refer to weightlifting. The way to create a sustainable healthy habit in life is by starting small. The CDC recommends adults exercise for 150 minutes a week, or just under 25 minutes a day. This 25-minute goal can be achieved in a variety of ways, such as taking a walk/run, going on a hike, or just simply choosing the stairs over the elevator.

The bottom Line:

Today’s technology has allowed for work and free time to be centered around sedentary lifestyles. Our obesity rates are drastically increasing and are a direct result from these advancements we have made. Shake things up today and make the decision to exercise. Choose to take a walk like your life depends on it, because it actually does.

This article is brought to you by Creating Healthy Communities and the Meigs Health Department. We are dedicated to making Meigs County a happy and healthier place by promoting active living and healthy eating to our community. For more information call us at 740-992-6626 or visit our website at

By Michael Davis

Meigs Health Matters

Michael Davis is the CHC Program Director.

Michael Davis is the CHC Program Director.