F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." There is something invigorating about when the air starts to get a little cooler, the light more golden, and the leaves more vibrant. This transition, which also comes with shorter daylight, can be challenging for some. Making a commitment to increase your physical activity, rest and eat well, and connect with others in our community can help lessen the negative effects that can come with change while also keeping you healthy in spirit, mind, and body.
We know people are more likely to be accountable to their healthy commitments if they regularly meet friends or colleagues for a workout or activity. Not only is it good for your body but connecting with others is a good dopamine release. All around the Y, you will find groups of people who have come together to exercise, volunteer at one of our Togetherhood projects, or help raise money to fulfill our mission. If you want to get involved in one of these groups, check with our Welcome Center staff to connect you.
One of the most amazing examples we’ve seen is the Poets & Pirates, a group of men who meet every morning at 5 a.m. to run. The bond they forged also inspired them to raise a significant amount of money for the Y and other organizations. When Tommy Sinn, one of their members was diagnosed with brain cancer, the group came together to support him by training with him to run a marathon and raise even more money. After Tommy’s death earlier this year, the group founded an endowment in his memory benefitting the Y’s youth and Exercise is Medicine programs.
Make a commitment to yourself to come to the Y to exercise at least three times a week, preferably for an hour each time. It doesn’t matter what your age is or where you might be on your wellness journey, you can positively impact your health by starting and maintaining an exercise regimen.
We know for a fact that exercise can stop and reverse the negative effects of chronic illnesses. You may end up developing life-long friendships in the process, too.
Here are some motivating facts you can share with your friends on the scientific evidence* of the benefits of exercise:
- Active 80-year-olds have a lower risk of death than inactive 60-year-olds
- Reduces mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by 50%
- Lowers the risk of colon cancer by more than 60%
- Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 40%
- Reduces incidence of heart disease and high blood pressure by 50%
- Lowers the risk of stroke by 27%
- Lowers the risk of developing type II diabetes (T2D) by 58%
- Is twice as effective in treating T2D than the standard insulin prescription
- Saves type 2 diabetics $2,250 per person per year when compared to the cost of standard drug treatment
- Decreases depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioral therapy
The Y is a community-oriented organization with plenty of opportunities to broaden the scope of friendships and to increase your overall quality of life. I encourage you to take advantage of the change of seasons to re-invest in yourself and your relationships.
*EIM Fact Sheet 2012