Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is the best form of exercise?

I was asked the other day, “Dr. Phil, what is the best form of exercise?” my answer… “Anything you will actually do!” 
My second answer is, “All things being equal, walking.”
Walking doesn’t take a lot of equipment and you can do it many places—rain or shine. It is easy on the body and you can set your own pace. When you travel you don’t have to pack lots of stuff. You can walk with a friend, pet, or ipod. And it surely is good for you. 
I’m not going to bore you with the health benefit statistics, I’m sure you’ve heard them already, but I’m confident you will agree that it is important that we all move our tushies!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009 reported that I in 3 adults participated in regular leisure time activity.  With another 1 in 3 doing no, nada, zero leisure time activity. Another way of saying this is 66 percent of adults sit around a lot. 
So, what are we suppose to do to help motivate ourselves to move our ever expanding, cushion crushing, rumps? 
The Journal of Family Practice, a journal written for primary care medical doctors, suggests that if the MD tells their patient to walk, not much happens, but if they suggest, “walk 2000 steps per day”, people seem to like the challenge. With the help of a pedometer, many people seem to get into walking more as they track their progress. 
FYI: “2000 steps is about 1 mile. 10,000 steps is a common daily step goal.”
I checked Amazon to see what others are saying about pedometers. I was surprised by the number of reviews. The #1 ranked pedometer, the Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer, had over 3000 reviews, almost all 5 stars!  Just for fun I checked Kit Kats to see how many people reviewed my sugar of choice. 0. 
The cost range for the top 10 pedometer models was $15 - $20. (Kit Kat 78¢)
Here are links to pedometers that were well rated:

Happy walking!