The Importance of Exercise
Why exercise? It takes time, effort, and sometimes it just plain hurts. Worse yet, you can easily injure yourself doing physical activity. After all, when have you heard of people injuring themselves watching television? Well, just read these excerpts pulled from various articles on the subject of exercise and decide for yourself.
- “Regular exercise can extend the healthy life span and push chronic diseases out toward the end” according to the director of Health Watch
- “Exercise is the closest thing we have to an anti-aging pill” says Dr. Leaf of the Harvard Medical School. Eighty percent of the health problems once associated with aging are now thought to be preventable or postponable if a person keeps fit.
- Exercise gives you more vitality when you really need it. One Doctor commented “there is no drug in current or prospective use that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime of physical exercise”.
- Studies have shown that “perpetual athletes” are two or three decades younger physically than their contemporaries.
- Another Doctor noted that the active 60 year old, and an inactive 30 year old will have equal physical work capacity.
- A specialist in preventive medicine says that for every hour you exercise, you extend your life by two hours.
- A Tufts University study found that people in their 80’s and 90’s who pump iron were able to walk faster, climb more stairs, and in some cases, give up walkers for canes. They indicated that the main reason many elderly grow chair bound is that their muscles are weak from lack of exercise.
- In a 12 year study of the elderly in their ’60s ’70s and ’80s who walked just two miles a day, they cut risk of death almost 50%. Additionally every extra mile they walked per day lowered their death rate by 19%.
If that doesn’t convince you to get up and start moving then read on. What follows are well established, documented facts concerning the effects of exercise.
- Strengthens the heart and lungs
- Reduces risk of developing heart disease and stroke by half
- Increases circulation
- Reduces body fat!!!!
- Relieves stress
- Lowers blood pressure, raising the level of HDL, reducing the risk of developing blood clots
- Strengthens and tones your muscles
- Keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible, allowing you to move more easily
- Increases your energy level
- Aids digestion
- Reduces risk of colon cancer by preventing constipation
- Allows people to fall asleep more quickly, and leads to a deeper sleep.
- There is a 58% reduction in the risk of breast cancer for women under 40 years of age if they exercise at least 4 hours per week.
- Reduces risk of osteoporosis and fractures by increasing bone density
- Increases balance, strength, coordination and flexibility
- Reduces risk of developing type II diabetes
- Reduces effects of type II diabetes
- Increases immunity to disease
- Moderate exercise combined with stretching has been shown to reduce pain and the need to medicate arthritis patients
- Increases memory (probably through increased circulation)
- Symptoms of depression were reduced almost 50 percent in individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions three to five times a week.
- Has been shown to improves one’s overall sense of well-being
Now I’m not an exercise guru or an exercise freak. I am just a massage therapist, helping people move with more ease, and less pain. What I can tell you is that my clients who do this most successfully lead active lives. Think about it. I don’t know about you, but I’m heading out for a bike ride right now.