Maybe you've avoided exercising for all these years, and now you figure it's too late to start.  Wrong again!  It's never too soon to start following a healthy lifestyle, and it's never too late to start exercising.  The findings of this study reiterate that even for people who are already middle-aged, exercising more can add years to their lives.  There's just no getting around the fact that remaining inactive is the most devastating thing you can do to your long-term health, longevity, and hope of avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic diseases.

The benefits of physical activity extend well beyond its effects on your longevity.  Recent studies have also found that exercise has payoffs for the mind, too, as it can improve feelings of overall well-being, reduce stress and depression, and cut the risk of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, all of which people with diabetes are more prone to experience.
The real problem is that many people – maybe yourself included – choose to ignore the scientific evidence, government recommendations, and public health campaigns to be more physically active.  Even today most Americans fail to exercise regularly, and the number of people who exercise during their leisure time has still been dropping, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Just keep in mind that you do not have to be an exercise fanatic to reap the benefits of increased physical activity.  Adding just a little activity to your daily routine can have major benefits.  Experts suggest that even 15 to 30 minutes of walking each day is probably enough to gain substantial health benefits.  So, just get up and get moving more in every way that you can every day!

For more information on all of the mental benefits of physical activity, please consult my new book, The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan: Living Well and Being Fit with Diabetes, No Matter Your Weight.  Check my Web site ( for more details or to order a copy today.

Read Sheri's bio here.

Read more of Sheri Colberg-Och's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


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Last Modified Date: February 16, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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