Why Exercise? By the time we reach adulthood we reach our potential physical peak. That is, we attain a time in out lives when we are no longer developing, or growing. Our bones and muscles are fully developed, and it could be said we are at our best.
As is the case with all living organisms we are ripe. When an apple is fully grown, and at its sweetest. It’s juicy, looks plump, and the skin is tight. It’s the best it’s ever going to be. Eat it now before it looses water, the skin sags, turns brown and its taste is somewhat compromised. In the case of humans once we are about 21 years old we lose muscle at an alarming rate of up to .5 kilogram yearly. Now the problem here is that muscle is the most metabolically active component in the body. Even when we are asleep our muscles account for at least half of calories burned. Therefore if you are losing muscle at that rate your metabolism is retarding proportionately.
Your physical functional capacity is now deteriorating, and you may not ever be able to do what you used to. At this stage of your physical-biological existence it is generally accepted that you then begin to slow down, and even further accepted that your physical appearance and out put will diminish. As a personal fitness trainer I know that what is generally accepted should absolutely not be the case.
Particularly, when is the absence of any physical exercise your peak was not that great anyway. You can accept that it’s down hill from here, just as the majority of the population do. This seems generally accepted because it is average. Based on averages we can then justify that the reduction of cardiovascular fitness, loss of metabolically active muscle due to inactivity, and the inability to cope with the stresses of day to day living is okay. We can also argue that every body puts on a few pounds, age prematurely, and rely on doctors, drugs and surgery to feel as most other do.
Fact is, most people feel like crap.
I say this because our health systems are overrun with the burden of unfit/unhealthy people who only feel the way they do because they do nothing to feel any other way.
Drugs can never replace the wellness that is experienced by everybody that remains active and those who include exercise in their daily regime. Chronic sedentary lifestyles could be considered the biggest killer in our affluent society today, and is directly related to degenerative disease like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and some cancers.
The human body is designed to move, and as a matter of fact it thrives on it. Watch children playing for example; they can run, jump and play so effortlessly. Look at their faces; this reflects the enjoyment that they experience in the name of fun. Contrast their faces when they are made sit still.
Without movement the human body deteriorates quickly, becomes sluggish, and loses its zest for life. The benefits of regular exercise are well documented, and include physical, psychological, and natural chemical tranquilizing effects yet as whole we don’t get enough of it.
Any amount of exercise is a positive step toward better well-being, as long as it is regular if not daily. If you feel that you just don’t have the energy do not despair because exercise creates its own energy, and in no time at all you will be hanging out for a daily fix and only then will you reap its many benefits.
Go for a walk around the block or through parklands. Many people start this way then go a bit further. Some even progress to jogging, however this step is not essential. In any case whatever method you do choose it must be sustainable ideally for life. This will do wonders for your self-esteem, but do it gradually. Too much to soon will only make a pleasurable activity become a chore, and a chore will destroy your motivation, and exercise longevity along with your self-esteem.
There is little point in taking off like a bull from a gate and never exercising again because you have taken and expected too much. When I get up in the morning I have a drink, run 5 kilometres, shower, shave and eat breakfast, and then my clean my teeth. Without going into the pro’s and con’s of the order in which I do things, this works for me. I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of my day. My mind is clear, and I will say, clearer than if I did not exercise, and ready to encounter ‘life stuff’ better than if I were to do nothing.
A commitment to yourself is essential to make the time. The grandest excuse not to get into a routine is lack of time. Yet invariably the busiest people seem to make the time. It must become a routine and essential part of your life, just like eating showering and cleaning your teeth.
Authors Details: John Moore Personal Trainer