Fit Family: Exercising Goes a Long Way, Cumulative and Worth It

by Mike Levinson

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Mike Levinson, a Calabasas resident, is a former amateur bodybuilding champion and registered dietitian who holds dual degrees in sports nutrition and physical education.

Increasingly, evidence suggests that even moderate amounts of exercise can lead to measurable health benefits. But while you don’t have to be a marathoner to be healthy, it helps if you exercise consistently and stay active over a lifetime. Researchers claim that the benefits of exercise are cumulative—the more years people spend exercising, starting in early life, the more physically fit they are in older age.

Researchers claim that people who are the most active at any age (exercising five times or more each month) had less trouble getting up from a chair, compared with those who were either inactive or only moderately active (exercising one to four times a month). The chair test is a marker of lower body strength, power and cardiovascular fitness.

Three brisk ten minute walks instead of one 30-minute workout provide the same health and weight loss benefits. Physicians add that any exercise is good, even the most ordinary but cumulative.

Pace while brushing your teeth or hair or talking on your phone or waiting for the microwave. Take the stairs instead of the elevator (if your health is okay for it; check with your physician). If it’s freezing outside and your living space is small, place an empty wastepaper basket upside down and power walk around it.

Work in 10 minutes here, ten minutes there, so that it adds up to 30 minutes a day. Other small exercise-like activities include parking the furthest away in a parking lot to a store or restaurant, walking the stairs in your own home a few more times a day, washing your car and playing hide and seek with your kids. The goal is simply to move a lot. Have you ever noticed that people who pace tend to be thinner?

Mike Levinson, a Calabasas resident, is a former amateur bodybuilding champion and registered dietitian who holds dual degrees in sports nutrition and physical education. He has worked extensively as a nutritionist with the California Angels baseball team and with famous athletes such as Charles Oakley, JT Snow and Sean Rooks. He also worked as a nutritionist for the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders.    


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