Why so many of us don’t exercise as much as we’re told to do

Boy, does the real world ever work differently from how the ivory-tower dwelling experts believe it should work.

I say this because of a terrific recent article in the Canadian Medial Association Journal.

This article discussed the Canadian guidelines for exercise, which this article pointed out and which is something we all know, I’m sure, “recommend that adults spend at least 150 minutes per week doing activities that make them sweat a little and breathe harder.”

However, only about 20 % of Canadians spend that amount of time doing that level of exercise.


Well, first full disclosure: I am one of the bottom-lying 80 %.

I don’t even come close any longer to 150 minutes a week of heavy-duty exercisel – reasons being that I’m too old, too bored, too many other things to do.

But if I had to, I could reach that level of activity I am a pretty lucky Canadian with enough safety in my life – work, finances, community – that I could devote more time to exercise if I wanted to.

Far too many Canadians cannot, however, and that’s never really discussed when it comes to discussing those guidelines.

As this article pointed out, being poor or being a single parent or even being a part of a struggling two-parent family offers huge barriers to exercise including such issues as time, safety, expense, stress, and several other important equally exclusionary factors.

In other words, we are not all middle-class individuals with safe jobs and safe communities and with enough spare time and cooperating families to do what studies tell us may lead to a better outcome down the line.

Plenty among us have many more immediate concerns that matter way more to our best health outcomes.