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I like to Move it Move. You like to? Move it!

Sasha Bernard
Exercise and welness

If you could think of one thing that you know (in theory) is important, but that you find difficult to practice – what would it be? My first thought would be exercise. It’s difficult to follow through on exercise. Even though we know it’s the right thing to do all sorts of things get in the way: scheduling challenges on a busy day, tiredness, lack of motivation, these are just a few of many excuses. In my own case, I’ll be honest – I just don’t like to exercise! For years I’ve tried to like it, but I’ve never gotten to the point where I actually look forward to a workout. 

However, if we were to explore behavioural recommendations for the maintenance or management of health we’d see over and over again how extremely important physical activity as a protective factor for health. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and hopefully we’re all learning that in addition to a proper diet and prescribed medication (if necessary), regular physical activity is crucial in managing diabetes and even in tackling prediabetes. That’s because being active makes your body’s cells become more sensitive to insulin, which counters insulin resistance and lowers blood glucose levels. 

And there’s more! Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, lose weight (if you need to), improve your mood, and your quality of sleep and memory. Plus it helps control your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Now it’s all well and fine to know these things, but how do we put it into action? The most recent World Health Organization guideline recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity (or a combination of both) each week. That works out to just about 20-25 minutes a day! What I’m going to say next, is not just a reminder or encouragement to you but also to myself. 

Being physically active can be fun and convenient. It could be as easy as creating a 20-minute playlist of your favourite soca or reggae songs and dancing till you build a sweat, or as simple as getting your housework chores done. Maybe instead of taking the elevator or a “short drop,” you can walk? Or maybe, if there’s a sport you’ve always liked, you can join an organised team.

The bottom line is all you have to do is find something you like, actually start, get an accountability partner if you need someone to help motivate you, set a realistic goal and make time for it. You got this! We got this! I believe in us!