Where’s The Disconnect? We All Know We Should Be Exercising But Don’t…

The evidence is clear and conclusive. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, are among the most common and often preventable of all health problems in the United States. Each year, chronic diseases cause 7 of 10 deaths among Americans. The CDC also reports that over 40% of Americans are categorized as obese, not only causing premature deaths due to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, but also costing nearly $150 billion annually in medical costs.

Our personal choices and behaviors can affect chronic disease and include:

Lack of Physical Activity

  • Research suggests that higher levels of physical activity can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease by 21% for men and by 29% for women.
  • Regular physical activity can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 50%.
  • According to the WHO, people who don’t exercise enough are 20-30% more likely to die prematurely. Physical inactivity is one of the major risk factors for mortality in the world.

Poor Nutrition

Tobacco use

Excessive alcohol consumption

Covid-19 has now emerged as one of the new leading causes of death in the USA. Reports indicate that again, those suffering from obesity and with underlying health issues, are more likely to struggle and/or die from Covid-19. Scientists even question whether a vaccine will be effective in obese individuals.

There are many people who did all the right things. They exercised, ate well and yes, still succumbed to cancer, heart disease and Covid-19. It shocks us all because it’s not the norm. The science demonstrates that an unhealthy lifestyle stacks the odds for developing some form of disease or illness. Let’s be clear, we all agree that no one deserves to be sick or die. But the question becomes, when you have control over the chances that you will get very sick and/or die, will you take action and make a change?

We all know that exercise, nutrition, and healthy living is good for our overall health. This is NOT breaking, cutting-edge news. We know this and yet according to the CDC, less than 5% of US adults participate in physical activity for 30 minutes a day.

So where’s the disconnect? What will it take to get Americans to just start moving and stick with it long enough to reap the health benefits? Is this the wake-up call our country needs?

Studies show us that 50% off people who start an exercise program drop out in 6 months. You may have good intentions initially but if you don’t stick with it for the long-term, you won’t experience the long-term benefits.

It can be helpful to review some of the habits that successful life-long exercisers adhere to:


When it’s dark, cold and you just don’t feel like working out, who will make sure you do it anyway? It can be a tribe of many or of one, but who will there to hold you accountable and call you out if you start slipping. It can be a workout buddy, a trainer, a family member, a class or even an online group.


If you hate your workouts, you won’t do them for long. Find an activity that you actually find some enjoyment in. It’s ok if your workouts are challenging but ask yourself how you can add some element of fun to each training session whether it’s music, a friend, a distraction like TV or the scenery. If you loathe each workout session, you will quickly find reasons to skip them. Walking is the perfect way to start. It doesn’t cost anything or require any special gear and you can do it anywhere starting TODAY!

Schedule It

If you don’t schedule your priorities into your life, others’ priorities will become your focus. Make an appointment with yourself, just as you would for your doctor or dentist or a meeting with your boss. That way, when someone asks if you can meet at 5, you can honestly say, “Sorry, I’ve got an appointment.”

Start Your Day Right

Try exercising in the morning. Just set your clock a littler earlier and before the calls and emails start arriving, take the time to take care of yourself first. Waiting till after work can often leave you open to unexpected responsibilities or fatigue from a long day making it more likely that you’ll skip a workout.

Healthy living doesn’t just reduce the risk for illness but also, you’ll sleep better, manage stress better and improve your mental health. You deserve to feel your best. Remember the saying “if you don’t make the time for exercise, you could be forced to make the time for illness.”

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a complimentary initial in person or virtual personal training appointment to help get you started. Email us for more details.

We Are Open!

Northwest Personal Training is NOW OPEN! We are SO EXCITED to see you! For Private Training, you’ll have the option to continue doing virtual training, outdoor training or training at the studio. For Group Fitness classes, you will be able to continue doing virtual online classes (live or saved) and we are also going to host some outdoor programming.

We specific safety precautions that we have in place so please watch this video where I explain everything we are doing to keep you safe.

Here is a link to our Reopening Protocol in detail so you can review closely.



Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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