Get Fit with 6: Taking the first step can have life-long medical benefits

Life is busy. Between work and family, it is often times hard to find the time to exercise.
Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 7:34 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Exercise is a great way to lose and keep weight off.

Physical activity also helps improve mood, sleep and some studies have found that it may help prevent eight forms of cancer.

Life is busy. Between work and family, it is often hard to find the time to exercise.

“I was just battling mental health when it came to I’m just working too much because I don’t have anything else to do. Going home just sitting on the couch, wake up and repeat.”

That cycle left Meeghan Kelly feeling sluggish and ready to make a change.

Meeghan’s doctor suggested Cross Fit Inside Out.

“I walked in and the class that was going there were barbells everywhere.” She admits it wasn’t easy. Like most people walking into a gym for the first time, it can seem scary. “There were people doing handstands and I was like I’m not gonna do any of that. But I mean you give it enough time and patience and persistence and you can get to it,” said Kelly.

Dr. Constance Foreman with Novant Health says the hardest part is getting started.

“We think that we have to do something extreme to be physically active, but it’s as simple as walking five to 10 minutes a day that can improve your health, especially if it’s more than what you were previously doing,” said Foreman.

Meeghan started to see a change in the first three months. She’s in the gym four to five times a week and other days will walk or get together with her newfound gym friends. Losing 60 pounds, her doctors say she’s decreased her body fat and gained muscle.

“Physical activity can control your medical conditions. In particular, we often think about hypertension and management of blood pressure management of cholesterol, not only the bad cholesterol but increasing the good cholesterol, in addition to effectively managing blood sugar,” said Foreman.

Meeghan says this is now a way of life for her and she encourages others to take that first step.

“The biggest thing is that it’s not too late for anybody like I was 46 when I started. There are people who were coming to work out at 9 a.m. who are in their 60s and above, like, as long as you start moving, you’re going to do better,” said Kelly.

Meeghan also changed her eating habits but says she didn’t go overboard and still enjoys burgers and beers.