The Effects of Exercise on Our Health

Procrastination. It gets to us all.  “I’m going to get in shape.” “I need to exercise more.” “I’m going to eat better and work less.”…These are things we say to ourselves all the time. But how often do we listen?

Our bodies take a lot of abuse and tolerate it pretty well, at least on the surface. Our bodies can take the abuse of being overweight, weak and out of shape for a good while and unnoticed for up to 10, 20, even 30 years. But there is hidden wear and tear your body is experiencing. This abuse can lead to issues such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and degenerative discs. If we don’t take care of ourselves eventually our bodies will break down, often at the most inopportune time.

Certainly genetics are a component to our health and well-being and there are a lot of unfortunate, unavoidable things that happen to us. However, in many cases we are our own worse enemies. The “I’m too busy to exercise”, or “I’m too tired”, or the “I’ll do it tomorrows” that we all are guilty of are all excuses that really affect our health in the long run.

Literature on the benefits of exercise is overwhelming. Exercise has been demonstrated to help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Among these conditions are coronary artery disease, stroke, obesity, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Have a conversation with a healthy 80, 90, and 100 year old man or woman and most of them will testify the importance of exercise in their lives.

We have all seen the eighty something year old who looks and acts like they are in their fifties. Conversely, we also know the person who is fifty something and looks and acts like they are eighty. Just a little care can go a long way in helping us age gracefully. We are all getting older. Who do you want to look like? Do you want to look like this?

A little exercise, some discipline, and an awareness can go a long way. Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Write it down and refer back to it often
  3. Schedule regular exercise like any other appointment
  4. Find something that you like to do
  5. Add variety to for effectiveness and avoid boredom
  6. Get professional help to develop an exercise strategy
  7. Commit yourself to it and have something to remind you of your commitment everyday

Start walking. Ride a bike. Get out of the office earlier. Just do something to get your body moving. Make exercise a priority. It does not have to be difficult. A good group of stretches, a regular walking/running program, regular visits to the gym, tennis court, or swimming pool. The list is endless. Find something that you enjoy, and make a point to do it…or else.

You’ll be surprised at how you well you look, feel, and move!