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exercise is slow, but strong, medicine

An ongoing, functional look at all the things affecting BRPT patients, their health and success.

Let me repeat ... Exercise is slow, but STRONG, medicine!

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise every week, which breaks down to a simple 21-22 minutes of movement per day.

Most of us can agree that it IS possible to carve out that amount of time, even if days already feel full. The benefits for our physical and mental health are significant, helping us manage a multitude of conditions. And in the grand scheme, studies have shown exercise to be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to help combat much of the chronic disease weighing down our health care system. Think: anxiety, arthritis, asthma,  cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, dementia, high cholesterol, long COVID, obesity ...

For me, recommitting to exercise after college was necessary to lose the weight I had gained sitting and studying as a student. But honestly now, as a 47 year-old woman, it is my mental health plan. I sleep better, have more energy, can think and problem solve better and it is my primary tool in combating stress. I've worked up to now having my Apple Watch set for 60 minutes of exercise a day. I appreciate the accountability, as it reminds me “a brisk 13 minute walk will help you meet your movement goal today."

Exercise as medicine is about committing to healthy habits. Remember from our January discussion, habits have a 3-step loop:


Maybe it means we set our exercise clothes out before bedtime, place our walking shoes right next to the side door or confirm by text when we will meet our friend at the gym for class. These small steps are our CUES to help make exercise ROUTINE. And when that happens, we can truly feel the REWARD.

So ... as we head into this spring, how will you find your 22 minutes a day?

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