Ester Marsh column: Exercise to improve your health

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

It doesn’t seem to matter what study they come up with, exercise is always part of the regimen, sometimes even the solution. Everyone knows that when you don’t use it, you lose it! Health is one of the greatest priorities, especially after the two years we just had.

As with anything, you have to make that first step to start exercising. Especially when you grow older and your body isn’t what is used to be, instead of “giving in” it takes greater effort to accomplish something. There is nothing wrong with that. So it takes you a little bit longer to get up the stairs, but you are still doing it! So many of our regular Y members, young and old, inspire me when I see them staying with it, no matter what ails them (if anything at all, sticking with it is a great accomplishment). They continue to exercise and keep moving. It’s a choice isn’t it? Too many times, people give in too quickly blaming it on injuries, having no time to exercise, or finances (the YMCA will never turn anyone away due to the inability to pay). As I have mentioned before, if health, exercise and staying at a healthy weight would be easy everyone would be healthy, exercise and stay on their target weight. But it isn’t, it’s a choice that you need to make. Only you can do it. We (trainers and group exercise instructors) can assist you with this but you are the one who needs to make that first step.

I don’t want to hear any excuses. I see too many people who actually have an excuse who keep working out. Whether it is MS (multiple sclerosis), Parkinson, a bad back, old age, cancer treatment, or arthritis (to name a few), exercise will help you deal with it and improve your quality of life. It’s the mind set that will make you succeed or fail.

Exercise helps your brain function, it keeps your muscles and bones strong and gives you that sense of power and control of your body. A strong spirit, mind and body, positive thoughts, staying independent — you would think everyone would want that right? Unfortunately, there are the ones who still find some reason why they can’t do it.

To feel good and reach the goals you set for yourself, you have to work to get there. You need to set goals for a suitable time frame and just “do it”!

A friend sent this great quote by Edward Smith Stanley: “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.”

So get up and start today!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.