Posted by Kathryn Battrum on Aug 21, 2020
Sara Hodson – founder and CEO of ‘Live Well Exercise Clinics”, spoke to us this week about how modest amounts of exercise can significantly improve our physical and mental health.
 
In 2017, the World Health Organization called obesity a global pandemic. It is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.
 
 In 2010, Sara Hodson had her fourth child and was struggling to maintain her exercise routine, so she reached out to her friend, Tasha McRae, a fellow Clinical Exercise Physiologist who was also a busy mom.

Exercising together made it easier and a lot more fun. They lost weight.  They gained energy. They began living life relaxed, refreshed, and with a smile.
 
Sara realized other people need those things, too. She and Tasha had been working together in a hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation program for years, so they understood the power of a supportive community to help people maintain good exercise habits.
 
Sara initially opened clinic locations in White Rock/South Surrey, then Vancouver to deal with Exercise as medicine. She quickly jumped to 285 members and 90 on the waitlist. She built a 3rd location, then went to a franchising model and now has 37 locations in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC.
 
Current knowledge indicates that people living with physical compromises are more likely to have greater complications from Covid19.  Health has never been more important than it is today. Covid19 should refresh our focus and give us the energy to take care of ourselves. In addition to disease prevention benefits, regular physical activity provides a variety of benefits that help individuals sleep better and have reduced stress:
 
  1. Exercise is medicine: heart health! It lowers the incidence of the #1 killer – heart disease and stroke by helping to prevent and manage high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
  2. Exercise is medicine: Cancer! It reduces the incidence of some cancers, can improve survival after a breast, colon, or prostate cancer diagnosis, and is safe during and after treatment and may improve cancer-related symptoms.
  3. Exercise is Medicine: Brain Health! It reduces risk of dementia, improves cognitive function, quality of life and sleep. It reduces feelings of anxiety and depression in healthy people and people with existing clinical syndromes and reduces incidence of depression.
  4. Exercise is medicine: type 2 diabetes – it improves blood sugar management, blood pressure, blood lipids and helps to maintain a healthy body mass index.
How much exercise is required? All physical activity has benefit. Start with 5 minutes and move up. MOVE MORE, SIT LESS. Additional benefit can be found by engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity 3-5 days/week, for a minimum of 150 minutes weekly.
 
“In an era of spiraling health care expenditures, getting people to be more active may be the ultimate low-cost therapy for achieving health benefits.” We need to change our habits to achieve the amazing health benefits of exercise.
 
For further information regarding exercise programs available at the local Live Well Exercise Clinic, in Kelowna, visit www.livewellclinic.ca