Why To Exercise Today Contest: Simplify Your Rules To The Max


You know what we need to help us exercise? We need the fitness equivalent of the now-classic Michael Pollan mantra for how to feed ourselves: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

That was the lead on Pollan’s lengthy New York Times magazine article in early 2007, and I’d swear I’ve heard it echoed hundreds of times since then. He goes on to write:

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy…A little meat won’t kill you, though it’s better approached as a side dish than as a main. And you’re much better off eating whole fresh foods than processed food products. That’s what I mean by the recommendation to eat ”food.”

So what should the maximal simplification of exercise recommendations be? The full CDC recommendations are here, but here’s a Mayo Clinic simplification: “As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.”

And here’s my stab at this based on my own experience: Aim for every morning, mix cardio and strength, have fun.

Readers, here’s your contest challenge: Distill your own personal wisdom into the best possible brief mantra, and share it in the Comments section below. Those lovely swagmasters in WBUR’s membership department say they can offer a fine Charles River Apparel jacket like the one pictured above to the three mantra-makers who get the most ‘Likes’ — whether on your comment below or on WBUR’s Facebook page — by our deadline, which I hereby declare to be April 10. Good luck and start your phrasemaking engines!

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Anna

    Swagis good. Exercise is Better.

    • Anna

      Supposed to say, “Swag is good. Exercise is better.”

  • kantorsandor

    Exercise now, thank yourself later!

  • kantorsandor

    Exercise now, thank yourself later.

  • Bob Freeman

    Stretch, walk, smile. Leave the car behind.

  • Dr. Pam

    Flex your limbs, move your body, focus on the breath.

  • Delos

    Dance; Prance; Bend; Mend!

  • arp

    I can do anything for an hour.

  • Nat

    20 mins interval work
    three times in each week
    who doesn’t have time for that?

  • paige

    Move more. Smile more. Live longer!

  • eeoc

    1. Leave the car at home.
    2. Tend to your own back yard, literally.
    3. Recapture childlike joy in movement.

  • http://twitter.com/powergardening Caroline Yourcheck

    Move. Everyday. Make it Fun

  • http://twitter.com/powergardening Caroline Yourcheck

    My contact: thepowergardener.com

  • http://twitter.com/powergardening Caroline Yourcheck

    Move, Everyday, Make it Fun!-

  • Sophie Freud

    Walk with an exciting book in your ear and look forward to the next chapter

  • Healthy Librarian

    Move more, sit less, have fun everyday. Run, walk, bike, or dance for your heart & brain. Strength-train for your muscles, bones, to age gracefully–cause if you don’t use it–you’ll lose it. Make yoga your no-fall-balance-flexibility insurance policy.

  • Dr. Beth Frates

    Move, play, and be merry! ;)

  • Janet

    Don’t sit if you can stand; don’t stand if you can walk; don’t walk if you can run

  • Reasonable?

    Reasonable’s exercise recipe:

    One 20 minute serving of high-intensity interval training, one 45 minute serving of heavy lifting, two liberal helpings of walking, and at least 5 evenings of relaxing rest (8 hours each); mix all ingredients thoroughly with a whole foods diet (paleo/primal preferred) and divide evenly over the course of a week.

    Share with friends

  • Kristi

    A haiku:
    Fast or slow – just move!
    Fruits and veggies are the best,
    But cake isn’t bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bonny.saulnier Bonny Saulnier

    Walk, carry your own stuff, take the stairs, and bend in the middle. Repeat often.

  • rishia

    Daily target: 30 minutes of exercise, are you there yet?

  • Janice

    Walk, roll, limp, bounce, jump, skip, run, swim, flip.

  • Melissa

    Move more. Challenge yourself. Sweat.

  • Lisa

    Move your body, every day, as often as possible.

  • yash

    30 minutes spent adds 30 hours to life. Exercise daily.

  • Ulla

    Walk most places, take the stairs, then add favorite exercise.

  • Deb

    Take the stairs, walk when you can, fast is better.

  • Kevin

    Lift heavy things.

  • lyndey

    Unless you’re dead, move.