Why Exercise is important to us

Essay by hilliard_isaacA, October 2006

download word file, 3 pages 4.2

Having Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) or Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) doesn't automatically give you a "Get out of Exercise Free" card. Just because you walk or wheel differently than other folks doesn't mean that you will avoid heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or any of the other Top 10 Diseases that may be fatal. So, enough excuses. I am going to tell you what you already know: Exercise IS good for you.

Exercise (see, it is NOT a four letter word) is one way to help get you through your day, easier. I am not talking about jogging, although that picture of us trying to run might bring on the laughter. I am talking about what each of us is capable of doing, because we are at different mileposts along this journey. If you can ride a bike without falling over when you stop, you have found a good cardiovascular exercise that falls into the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for aerobic activity.

ACSM encourages activity that involves large muscle groups, like the arms and legs, that is rhythmical in nature, which means it is a continuous activity, that can be performed for 20 to 30 minutes or longer during a single session 3 or more times per week, and can elevate your heart rate to a level appropriate for your exercise program.

I mentioned bicycling, either outside, or stationary, as one example of meeting the ACSM guidelines. Other activities might be swimming, water aerobics, chair aerobics, or wheelchairing (is that really a word?). Snowshoeing or cross country (x-c) skiing are a couple of winter activities here in the north country, that give a great cardiovascular workout, for those who are able.

Can you think of other activities that also fit into this group? This is the aerobic type...