Why exercise? Inactivity is a fast-growing public health concern that is a major contributor to obesity, heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, frailty, falls, fractures and lack of self esteem. There is an "inactivity epidemic," with tremendous physical and financial costs.

-Recent evidence indicates physical inactivity is the leading cause of death in the US and the 4th leading cause of death globally.
-More than half of adults (56%) do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity.
-Physical inactivity costs the US Health Care System $330 per person each year, which equals more than $102 billion dollars annually.

Exercise has proven benefits for everything from lowering blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol. It also builds muscle and bone, improves mental health and self esteem, and heart, lung and kidney function. It even decreases the risk of cancer and Alzheimer's.

-Regular physical activity can decrease the risk of death by 40%.
-Active individuals in their 80s have a lower risk of death than inactive individuals in their 60s.

Are you one of the people or do you know someone that says they just can't find the time to exercise? It doesn't have to be something special that we must do and just don't know how to fit it in. While a workout in the gym, running or a bike ride may require carving out some time to dress, undress, workout and shower, you can find ways to weave activity into your daily schedule and make it part of your life.

If exercise is the medicine, what is the dose?

The new American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association Guidelines are 5 days a week of moderate intensity cardiovascular activities and 2 additional days of strength training is the recommended frequency.

How do you fit it in?

Strength training:
A novel idea is to use your own body weight and gravity. No equipment is necessary! You can work out anywhere, where there is a wall, even in the bathroom stall!

-Wall push ups: Stand your palms against the wall and arms stretched out. Move your feet back and away from the wall, the further away the harder it will be. Bend your arms and move your chest to the wall and when your chest or nose is near the wall, push out. Do push ups against the wall. This can also be done on a counter or desk. Repeat for 10-25 repetitions.
-Wall squats: Stand with your back against the wall, and squat into a seated position with the wall supporting your back, your feet away from the wall with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 30 - 60 seconds, stand, rest, repeat for 5-10 repetitions.
-Triceps dips: Choose a sturdy chair, (not one with wheels). With your back facing the chair, squat down and place your palms on the seat of the chair. Move your feet away from the chair and bend your elbow so your buttocks move closer to the floor, then push up. Repeat 8-10 times.
-Balance ball: Sit on a balance ball instead of a chair. This can work your core muscles and burn some calories while you sit at your desk.

Aerobic Activity

-Walk: Get a pedometer and monitor your steps. Walk whenever and wherever you can. Drink plenty of water and take trips to the bathroom to do your strength training in the stall.
-Steps: Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator to work your legs and buttocks.
-Bicycle: to work or to run errands.
-House chores: Pick up the pace and make these activities more vigorous to raise your heart rate and get your body moving.
-Outdoor chores: You can make gardening, raking leaves or shoveling snow both aerobic and strength building. Be sure to use good form.

Sticking to it
Studies show that anything you focus on, track and monitor will grow and change.

-Schedule it in: Make some form of activity a priority and carve out time in your schedule to do it. You are more likely to do it if it's on your calendar.
-Keep an exercise log: There are many tracking sheets available and apps to monitor the frequency, intensity, time and type of activity. What you focus on grows.
-Monitor: get a pedometer to track your everyday moves
-Be consistent: Small changes made consistently over time has a compound effect
-Get back on the horse when you falter: Beating yourself up does no good. Just get back to your routine and squeeze it in whenever and wherever you can.

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Maita, MD is a recognized and award winning physician and author-transforming people's lives through preventive and anti aging medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has over 18 years experience in Preventive Health and Wellness, Internal, Occupational and Travel Medicine and Executive Health.

Dr. Maita served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Prudential Financial, Medical Director on The Pfizer Health Leadership Team and Medical Director of North America for Johnson & Johnson Global Health Service and was an attending physician at St.Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, Emergency Department and Executive Health Examiners in New York City. She is a consultant for companies wanting to develop or enhance their employee and occupational health and wellness programs and has a private practice in Short Hills, NJ. She is author of "Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier."