Have you ever made an excuse as to why it is okay to increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and obesity? No? Well, if you have ever made an excuse of why you don’t exercise on a consistent basis, you have made an excuse to decrease the level of your health.

In the May/June 2004 issue of American Fitness magazine, Dr. Edward Creagan, a cancer specialist and professor at the Mayo Clinic Medical School, writes in the article entitled “Prescription for Life”: “I can’t write a prescription for any medicine more powerful than exercise. Here’s why: When I speak to audiences around the country, I take a gallon of milk with me onstage. Why a gallon of milk? To make a point, because 70 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the audience will not be able to lift that full gallon of milk–weighing about 10 pounds–by the time they reach age 70.” (Note: After the age of 30, we start to lose one percent of muscle mass per year.)

Furthermore, Dr. Creagan states, “Inactive people seem to have a higher risk for certain cancers, such as colon and prostate. In terms of colon cancer, waste passes through the colon faster in physically fit individuals.


“Consequently, less contact occurs between waste materials and the colon lining, which may have something to do with the decreased cancer risk. High amounts of fiber in your diet may help create larger bowel movements and long-term population studies show societies in which large bowel movements are common because of high-fiber diets have a reduced colon cancer risk.”

The above information is a reminder to us about the importance of eating the navy bean, which has a significant amount of fiber, and the importance of exercising. Walking is the cheapest and best exercise. You can walk with your children, your spouse or a friend and have a wonderful time. Take time out for yourself. Exercise. Prolong your life and reduce your risks.

Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan.

(Audrey Muhammad is a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor. She is also the author of “The Sister’s Guide to Fitness” and the creator of the KIBOS exercise video and the Get Fit to Live KIBOS Challenge. Questions and comments may be sent to [email protected]. Visit her website at Getfittolive.com.)