- Dear Abby
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What if I could prescribe a therapy that would make you live longer, feel better and is clinically proven to significantly improve, if not outright cure, most of the major illnesses people suffer? What if I said it was cheap, didn't hurt and had almost no side effects.
If it were implemented, my therapy would not raise your taxes, would save the government money and improve the federal deficit. Forget Barack and Mitt, if I had such a solution, you'd write in my name instead, right? Heck, you might even make me king.
Well, I promise you that I do. Any search in Medline will prove that my prescription will dramatically improve or cure the following: Depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, coronary artery disease, heart failure, COPD, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, lower extremity swelling, Parkinson's disease, muscle weakness after strokes, obesity, sleep apnea-the list goes on and on but I'm only allowed 500 words for this column.
But wait, there's more: this therapy will make you feel and look sexier. It'll improve your love life. It'll give you energy you never had. I swear on my medical license that I have such a therapy. I will write out the prescription right here: Exercise, one hour each day, seven days each week. For the entire hour, get your heart rate up to at least 65 percent of the maximum predicted heart rate, and higher if you can. MPHR is roughly calculated by subtracting one's age from 220. For a 46-year-old person, that's a minimum pulse of 113 beats per minute.
If all you can do is exercise for 5 minutes, start there and then every day add one minute; within 55 days, you'll be doing it for an hour and on your way to feeling great, living longer and having a better love life. (Who doesn't want a better love life?) Can't increase by a minute? Then increase by 30 seconds. It doesn't matter. The important goal is one hour, every day, forever.
It's the simplest, easiest thing to do. The simplest solutions are the ones no one notices. People would rather have liposuction surgery and a tummy tuck than exercise, even though the exercise is painless, has a quicker recovery and produces a better result without any scarring in the same amount of time.
Find exercise boring? Only boring people get bored. Use a little imagination. Do something fun. Try Zumba dancing. Swim in a local pool. Throw a Frisbee. Take a class in athletic pole dancing, which is, I'm told, quite a strenuous workout. Take a kickboxing class. Go hiking in the woods with a camera to photograph different birds or tree shapes. Getting tired of walking on that home treadmill but don't want to walk outside? Close the curtains, lock the door and walk on the treadmill naked. You may feel silly, but you won't be bored.
If you're still bored, exercise with your spouse and raise your pulses together. Just don't fall off the treadmill.