Tips for Healthy and Happy New Year? Fill Your Exercise Prescription

Jan 7, 2016

Regular exercise is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of many serious health conditions, but many of us still struggle with making it a part of our lives. Would you be more likely to exercise if your doctor prescribed it?

Dr. Britt Marcussen says that if you’re trying to start a new habit, stick with it.

“We are all creatures of habit. It takes a long time if you’re not an exerciser to become an exerciser and have it be second nature to you. If takes several months of working a program before it becomes a habit,” he says.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Marcussen about forming new exercise habits and about a new article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association urging doctors to make physical activity a vital sign, like your blood pressure or pulse, making a question about physical activity a fixture of every check-up.

Robin Shook, who is an assistant professor in the department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University also joins the show. He’s been researching ways that exercise affects us outside of the correlation with weight.

“I’ve found that people who exercise have better regulated appetites than people who don’t,” Shook explains. “Regular exercise also correlates with sleep, and I’m working on research about how exercise can help an individual through a major life event like a death or a marriage ending.”

According to Shook, 70 percent of Americans don’t meet the recommended threshold for 150 minutes of physical activity a week.