10 top excuses people use to avoid exercise—part 2

Senior man tying his shoelaces ready for a jog

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Being healthy for retirement means getting healthy before retirement. In this 7-part series, health researcher and exercise guru Darren Morton talks about the top 10 excuses people use to not exercise.

2. Exercise is too dangerous

We have all heard stories—perhaps from a friend of a friend of a friend—of a person who went jogging and suddenly dropped dead. Just goes to show: exercise is far too dangerous!

What’s not told is how infrequently this happens.

Among the general population, the chance of sudden death is estimated to be between 0 to 2 episodes per 100,000 exercise hours. And among those with a known heart condition and participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program, estimates are from 0.13 to 0.61 episodes per 100,000 exercise hours.

For most, there’s no reason why you should be fearful about increasing your physical activity levels. However, it’s a good idea to get a check-up from your doctor before engaging in vigorous activities if you aren’t accustomed to it, just for peace of mind.

Of course, it’s also wise to listen to your body. If you notice signs that things are not right—especially with pains in your chest, left arm or neck—slow down and follow it up with a visit to your doctor immediately.

Finally, even if exercise is risky—which statistics show it isn’t—the alternative is lethal.

For every person who perishes by perspiring, millions die prematurely from a poor quality of life because they are underactive. In fact, if I have enough vitality to be jogging on the day I die, I’ll be delighted. It’s better than the fate of many inactive individuals who can expect years of illness leading up to their death.

So, it’s a good idea to get the all clear from your doctor before getting serious about an exercise program, but don’t let the thought that exercise is dangerous stop you. The benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

Darren Morton is the lead researcher at the Lifestyle Research Centre at Avondale College of Higher Education and the author of Live More Active

Category: Physical Health

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