Health Watch -- Keeping Exercise Resolutions (Part 2)

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Is it difficult for you to force yourself to exercise? Maybe we can help.

Now that your initial new year/new you enthusiasm has worn off, do you find it harder and harder to get up and exercise? Here's a reminder why that exercise is good for you.

For one thing, exercise can help prevent diabetes. In one study, Florida researchers found that otherwise sedentary people who got some exercise every week could lower their risk of developing the insulin resistance that leads to type 2 diabetes - even if they didn't lose any weight.

Nutrition experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas said in a National Cholesterol Education Program report that physical activity was one of the keys for fighting the metabolic syndrome - a cluster of symptoms associated with diabetes and heart disease. University of Georgia researchers found that being physically fit can help the body cope with the effects of stress that could lead to health problems.

Researchers in Boston found that exercise makes a cholesterol-lowering diet even more effective. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that exercise was as good as a drug for preventing heart disease by reducing inflammation in blood vessels. Patients who exercised had the kind of benefits seen from high-dose steroid therapy.

Now, remember this list when you'd rather not exercise.