MOST PEOPLE WHO JOIN GYMS DON'T END UP GOING, BUT EXERCISE DOESN'T NEED TO BE A BIG TIME COMMITMENT

Jan 22, 2015

By Jane Brown

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How’s your new year’s fitness pledge going?  January typically sees a healthy uptick in sign-ups at gyms and specialized studios.  But U.S. money-saving expert Andrea Woroch says recent statistics show 67 per cent of people who join don’t use their memberships at all.  With the average monthly fee at $58 in the US, that means a potential waste of up to $700 a year.  To save some money, Woroch suggests haggling over the price of a gym membership and look for family rates.

And even when you do make it to the gym, it doesn’t take much exercise to make a positive difference.  The World Health Organization says two and a half hours each week will do it.  But the WHO also says for those over 50, even one hour of moderate physical activity a week such as brisk walking reduces the risk of an early death by 15 per cent.  Drop down to just 20 minutes, but “intensive” activity per week and your risk of premature death goes down 23 per cent.

It turns out older adults should be encouraged to engage in as much physical activity as they can tolerate, even if it isn’t the 150 minutes a week, an earlier Canadian study advocated for the amount of exercise needed to maintain good health.

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