Modern society has made it easier for us to avoid exercise. This is bad for our health! In today’s automated and electronic society, it is quite easy for us to neglect our body’s need for regular exercise and physical fitness. For example, instead of walking, we use cars to get us from here to there. We can play video games and watch sports on television rather than actually playing sports ourselves. Most of us also have ready access to all sorts of calorie-heavy foods (e.g., beer, hamburgers, sugary drinks), and do not always realize how easily these foods contribute to excessive calories and body weight (mostly fat). Given the obesity epidemic in this country which is leading to all sorts of chronic problems (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis), we really need a regular exercise program to get us back into healthy shape.
Reap the health benefits of regular exercise and fitness training
Several studies have shown that regular exercise can help combat many disorders and reduce death rates. A few of the chronic conditions made better by regular exercise include:
- Obesity and its related problems (including arthritis of the legs)
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Lung diseases
- Balance problems
- Mobility issues due to stroke
- Depression and/or anxiety, emotional stress and overeating tendencies
Regular exercise also lowers your risk for developing certain common cancers (e.g., breast, lung, and colon cancers).
Many people find that once they adopt a regular exercise and fitness program, not only do they feel better (more energy and increased alertness), but they may also be able to reduce the medication needed to control certain conditions they have such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This in turn may provide less out of pocket costs for such medications and fewer medication side effects.
Finally, regular exercise is an excellent way to help you lose weight. However, you must combine exercise with a good diet if you expect to lose weight. As some would say, “You cannot outrun a bad diet!” You would be surprised for example to learn how much exercise you need to do to work of the calories of say a single hamburger [see “Working off the Calories”].
Since the health benefits of regular exercise are well documented, it makes great sense to have your own, individually tailored exercise and fitness program that you can adhere to on a daily basis. The challenge now is how take action and get started, and Take CHARGE can help you with this.
For more tips and information about establishing your own individualized exercise and fitness program, visit the Take CHARGE Physical Fitness Consultation page.
David Gordon, M.D., and Mark A. Harris
Take CHARGE of Your Health