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Can't Find Time to Exercise? Schedule It, Experts Say
Date:9/2/2011

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- It would be hard, these days, not to have heard that regular exercise can provide innumerable health benefits and help people enjoy longer, happier and more active lives.

What's more, fitness experts have determined that people don't have to work themselves to exhaustion or set aside large chunks of time to reap the benefits.

Nonetheless, large numbers of people are either getting no exercise at all or are getting too little to do themselves any good, health experts say.

So why aren't more people getting off the couch and moving?

A lot of it has to do with time, said Michael R. Bracko, a sports physiologist and director of the Institute for Hockey Research in Calgary, Canada. Not just the amount of time people have, but also the amount of time they think they have.

"In this day and age, with all the stuff we have going on, probably the number one reason is perceived lack of time," Bracko said. "People don't view exercise or physical activity as important enough to schedule it within their day. They can't find the time to work out. They've got kids, they're driving around, they're working, they're commuting."

However, health experts stress that participation in regular physical activity can reap a ream of health benefits.

Physical activity helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure, reducing the chances of developing diabetes or heart disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies have shown that physical activity also maintains healthy muscles, bones and joints, and can slow the deteriorating effects of aging.

Further, exercise improves a person's overall mood by prompting the release of hormones that reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, the CDC says. Some research has even found that exercise helps keep the mind sharp, improving me
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