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This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares highlights from a recent study on the value of exercise.


A recent article in The New York Times cites a new study that estimates the value of exercising regularly at $2,500 a year. This amount represents the savings in medical costs from having an active versus sedentary lifestyle. For people who need the incentive of a clear financial benefit, this article is perfect and provides additional rationale for why we should exercise. But is that number really the value of exercise? For the purpose of this study, the researchers only looked at expenses related to cardiovascular disease. However, the article goes on to state that a whole host of diseases are “. . . more common among people who do not exercise.” These include very common diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer. If you also include the fact that people who exercise get sick less often and suffer less from back pain, the added cost of lost productivity would raise the number significantly.

There are other factors to consider when trying to come up with a value of exercise. Exercise releases endorphins into the body. These chemicals help with management of depression and make us happier people. Exercise also helps maintain healthy weight and staves off food cravings. I could go on and on, but I think you can see that the real value of exercise is far greater than the annual $2,500 stated in the Times article. I’m sure that most people feel that the true value of good health in mind and body is priceless! Make exercise a consistent part of your lifestyle and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.

Stay active and be well.


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  • andrea September 10, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Simple advice but so true. Making exercise fun is important also-change up routines and venues. Treat yourself to a personal trainer -even occasionally – to help you learn the right way to exercise and what’s best for your body. I find having an appointment /commitment motivates me.