It is true to the expression that you either “use it, or lost it”. Regular psychical activity is crucial in an age where people spend more time in front of the computers and staying in doors, juxtapose to previous eras where work and getting around involved more physical aspects. Cars, public transport, television and computers have quenched the need or desire to involve oneself in any form of strenuous work which we have biologically been evolved to do. Our physical bodies were evolutionary design to move – it craves exercise. Having evolved so far and able to maintain the top status of “survival of the fittest” our bodies have developed ways to prevent disease. In a period where natural selection and genetic mutation no longer play a crucial role in our lives we are more required to carefully follow our bodies natural requirements. When the need for survival and genetic alterations were replaced with communal living and surviving as a society humans developed ways to do less work and segregate tasks so we don’t have to do everything ourselves. For the majority of people meat is hunted for us and our clothes are made for us and all we really have to do is earn money to afford these things – which in most cases don’t require much exercise.
University of Washington’s school of medicine states that exercise is medicine. The more you maintain a consistent schedule of exercise the healthier you’ll be and less likely to contract diseases. It is the ultimate form of preventive medicine. Through history is has been emphasized that exercise is required to maintain health and well being. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote two books on exercise and regimen stated that “‘eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise. For food and exercise work together to produce health.” Exercise is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining a well balanced and peaceful lifestyle, as it regulates the body’s release of hormones which are responsible for your emotions.
5 Reasons to Exercise
1. Weight Control
The first benefit is weight control. It can help maintain excess weight gain and is the quickest path to weight loss. Mixed in with a well maintained diet and you’ll lose kilos within a matter of weeks. The good thing is that you don’t have to do much to being reaping the health benefits and start losing weight. Just 20 minutes of running or cycling 3 or 4 times per week is enough to bring you down to healthy levels. Seek healthy alternatives to what you already do; take the stairs, walk to the shops etc.
2. Increase Energy
Regular exercise is a great way to increase your endurance or stamina. If you get winded walking your groceries inside your house or walking up a set of stairs then exercise will dramatically help you walk further, feel less groggy and enjoy your day for longer. Exercise increases your stamina by conditioning your body to become more efficient and use not as much energy for the same amount of work.
3. Boosts Mood and Stress Reduction
Exercise is a great way to blow off some steam or take your mind of the things that make you feel terrible. Going for a 30 minute walk or just lifting a few kilos at the gym is a great way to take the load of your mind. It has been proven that physical stimulation activates various brain chemicals that gives you a greater sense of relaxation and happiness. Your appearance and self image will have an added beneficial effect on your self esteem and your confidence level.
4. Combats Disease
If you’re worried about heart disease and want to prevent high blood pressure exercise is the key. No matter what your current weight is – being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and reduces unhealthy triglycerides. This is what keeps your blood running smoothly and delivering essential nutrients to your organs. Additionally, physical activity can help you avoid or control a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer and arthritis.
5. Improves Overall Quality of Life
As soon as you start exercising regularly you wonder why you haven’t been doing this before. Your overall quality of life improves as you have more energy to burn, less health issues and saves a lot of money at the doctors office. You’ll feel less need to eat unhealthy foods as you don’t want to waste the stunning body you’ve developed and you save more money on food. Your hormones are in right order meaning your emotions are in check and your reduction in stress gives you a better quality of life.
It is important that exercise isn’t a one off thing and it should be part of your lifestyle. As hard as that sounds, the fitter you become the more you’ll enjoy it and want to do it. Consistency is what to aim for, as 1 hour of exercise one day a week isn’t as good for you as 10 – 20 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. Anything that increases heart rate and metabolism is considered good exercise, even yoga and the more spiritual practices help as they stretch your muscles, give you peace of mind and stimulates weight lost.