Exercise is Medicine

February 09, 2020


A little while ago I went to a workshop for people living with Arthritis and how to manage their condition. After the speaker had finished and opened up the floor to questions it struck me as interesting that most people were looking for a magic pill that would at the very least help, and at best cure their condition.

When the speaker recommended the best medicine they could take was regular exercise I could sense the disappointment by some of the audience. I suspect that was in part  because the fitness industry portrays exercise as a bunch of young people wearing the latest trends in clothing, music blaring, lifting heavy weights and working at an intensity that is consistent with and Olympic athlete.

Whilst that may be true of some gyms and during peak hours, there are a lot of exercise facilities that welcome all sections of the community and adapt the environment to the group of people using the gym at that moment in time.

It is well documented that exercise is good for you but as we get older exercise can take a back seat. In fact as we age we should be doing more exercise, not less as it can help with a merid of age related health conditions.

If you suffer from High blood pressure, Osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, Cancer, Weight gain, Anxiety and a range of Heart conditions then talk to your health professional about an exercise plan.

For most conditions regular exercise is the key to improved health but knowing where to start and what to do can be the biggest challenge.

Getting Started

  • Keep it simple – start off with making a conscious decision to be more active.
  • Find a friend to join you – exercise is social and helps keep you accountable.
  • Speak to your health professional if you have any concerns
  • Keep it fun – If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it, so do activities that you and your exercise buddy or buddies enjoy.
  • Once you feel ready, check a couple of local gyms out and find one that resonates with you.
  • Health benefits come from regular aerobic exercise (3 to 5 times a week) at an intensity from light to hard for between 30 to 60 minutes (light intensity 60 minutes, hard intensity 30 minutes).
  • Plus, adding a few weights will help make you stronger and help with your overall health. Aim for 2 days a week, build up from light weights of 8 to 10 repetitions for 2 sets, to 10 to 15 repetitions for 3 sets.
  • Your gym should be able to write a programme that is appropriate for your condition but if they can’t ask them to refer you to someone who is experienced in that area.
  • With all exercises start off light and build up as you get fitter, Exercise is the new medicine.


Shop 11, 40 Stonefields Ave, Stonefields | 09 218 8197 | flexfitnessgym.co.nz


First published in Verve magazine