Try Not Just for ExerSIZE

We all know a few people whose interest in exercise is only piqued when they’re no longer getting away with indulgent eating…

*Raises hand.

Some of us need to broaden our horizons and view exercise as so much more than an add-on in the battle of the bulge. Here are some reminders to hopefully inspire you to get your move on that have nothing to do with exerSIZE: #MondayMotivation alert!


  • Improves sleep. Regular exercisers fall asleep faster, sleep for longer and awake more refreshed. Studies have also shown that the more good quality rest you get at night, the more likely you are to exercise the next day so the cycle perpetuates itself once you establish good habits.
  • Enhances immunity. Moderate exercise boosts the number of key immune system cells.
  • Acts as a major de-stressor and mood booster. Many robust studies have shown it to be on a par with, or more effective than antidepressants and/or cognitive behavioural therapy (a type of psychotherapy or counselling in which negative thinking patterns about the self and the world are challenged in order to stop destructive patterns of behaviour). It elevates brain chemicals that are depleted in states of anxiety and depression, such as serotonin, glutamate and GABA. Follow-up studies have shown fewer relapses in those who continued to exercise regularly after the trials.
  • Protects bones. Lazy bones are deprived of the stimulation that jumping up and down exerts on bone-building cell enzyme activity. Even low intensity exercise augments bone density. Strength and resistance training complements this process superbly.


  • Diminishes all sorts of pain by releasing endorphins, increases pain tolerance and reduces chronic fatigue.
  • Reduces the stiffness of blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
  • Boosts digestive health by optimising the speed with which food passes through the digestive tract.
  • Reduces the risk of many cancers (such as those of the breast, womb and colon) and other chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke – even if the regular exerciser’s weight remains static.
  • Sharpens the mind and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
  • Augments insulin sensitivity, thereby enhancing glucose metabolism and optimising blood sugar levels. This is obviously of huge importance in diabetes and in avoiding adult-onset diabetes. Again, this is all independent of calorie restriction and weight reduction.
  • Yoga and Tai Chi and other range-of-motion exercises enhance movement in joints and muscles, thereby bolstering flexibility and significantly reducing the risk of falls. Good balance is independently associated with longevity and becomes exquisitely important in the latter decades of our lives, when disastrous sequelae can follow a simple, mechanical fall.
  • It beautifies and confers youth! The increased blood flow to your skin is an instant beautifier AND regular exercise boosts collagen production: #winning! But seriously, it prolongs life span. This stands to reason when all of the above are acting in synergy: #Exercise4Life!

I spent this evening watching a film (‘The Hospital in the Sky’) about the incredible work Orbis does on its Flying Eye Hospital… If you’re in the market for a selfless reason to get your move on, try their October 20/20 challenge… Run for 20 minutes every day of October to raise much-needed funds for their life-changing work in the field of preventable blindness across the globe and 80% of it is COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE… Look it up on!

Status post-op in Peru!

Have a a great week and if you’d like to read more, please visit!


My name is Michelle and I’m a Dublin-based GP (family doctor). Life is short: take the minimalist approach to maximise your health!

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