Why is exercise important?
For most people, taking or indulging in exercise tends to be a reactive thing.
That is, there has to be something that happens in their life that forces them to re-assess what they are doing. Something happens that makes them realize that they need to exercise more as a way of changing things that are going wrong in their life.
For instance, many people come to a point in their life where they finally acknowledge what they have, in reality, known for a long time, that they are overweight or obese. Perhaps more importantly, having finally accepted that their weight truly does represent a problem, they actually make a conscious decision to do something about it. So, they go on a weight loss diet of some description and, for most people, taking exercise is part of the weight loss process.
The saddest part is that, if such overweight or obese people had regulated their calorie intake and taken regular exercise beforehand, they would never have got to be in the state that necessitates such drastic action.
Other people might decide to begin exercising in an effort to slow down the aging process, often at a point in their lives where they finally understand that the arrival of the grim reaper is a lot nearer than they previously imagined.
This is a good thing, but it is also a classic case of ‘better late than never’. The fact is that if people who take up exercise late in life had only done so twenty or thirty years earlier, their efforts to delay the inevitable would have been more effective.
There lies the point about exercise that many people ignore. Exercise should not be something that is done reactively, at a point where it has to be done in an attempt to reverse something that has already happened.
Exercise should be viewed as a proactive step that everyone can indulge in as one of the best preventative measures that they can take.
Increased physical activity will increase your heart rate as well as strengthening all of the muscles of your body. The heart is after all only a muscle and all muscles get stronger the more often they are worked.
This resultant increase in heart activity will automatically speed up the blood circulation throughout your body, which will in turn deliver increased oxygen and nutrients to all your organs.
Regular exercise helps to increase the capacity of your lungs to absorb and utilize oxygen, is effective at reducing body fat, and lowers the levels of
sugars and ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood.
A program of regular exercise (if begun early enough) can help to slow down the inevitable aging process too.
Exercise will make the body stronger, and that equates to a body that is more resistant to illness and injury.
Taking regular exercise improves your overall quality of life as well. It makes you feel better physically and mentally.
It allows you to enjoy everything that you do much more than you previously did, because you have increased energy and vitality and that enables you to become more involved in whatever is going on.
These are all benefits that you can enjoy simply by starting taking exercise now, rather than waiting until you ‘have to’ for some reason or another.
So, am I advocating enrolling in one of the aforementioned ‘fancy fitness clubs’ or joining (and paying for) an expensive gym? Absolutely not!
There are dozens of opportunities to ‘work out’ during the course of the average day, and it really is only a question of making the correct choices, as you will see.
In some parts of the world, exercise is a natural part of life, because people in many places simply do not have the choices that those who live in the affluent countries of the West have.
For example, they do not eat burgers or fries every couple of days, because there is no fast food shop in the local mall (there is, in fact, no local mall).
They do not jump in the car to drive everywhere, because they do not have a car, and, as there are no buses either, they walk everywhere they go.
These people are forced to adopt a lifestyle that is in many ways healthier than that which most people in developed Western countries are used to, because they have no choice.
You do have a choice, and it is up to you to choose to live in a way that benefits you and your health, as opposed to harming it.
Part of that choice is taking regular exercise, and the sooner you start working your body a little more than you are at present, the better it will be