There are at least 18 good reasons as to why you need, if you already haven’t, to include physical activity to your daily routine, beginning today and going forward for the rest of your life. I know, you are a busy executive, entrepreneur or business leader and you don’t have the time; please take a moment to read the list and follow the exercise found below the list and let me know if you still don’t have the time and why.
And for those of you who are active, congratulations! Please read on, the list will help reenergize you and reenforce the fact that you are doing the right thing, not only for yourself, but for the company you lead, the colleagues you interact with, your loved ones, family, friends and community. And on behalf of the community, I thank you for choosing the road less travelled, for being our role models and contributing to society in such a positive way.
Our Organic Machine
I consider the human body to be the most sophisticated and best designed organic machine on the planet. And the best way to keep this machine going for a long period of time is to use it, daily and not store it and pamper it with inactivity. In fact, it doesn’t work as well and breaks down over time when not used often enough and in the proper way. However, the real beauty of this machine is even though you may have neglected it for some time, it forgives you and responds to your renewed use and care.
- Reduces the risk of premature death…active people live longer with a better quality of life.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease…strengthens the heart, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system to help fight cardiovascular disease.
- Decrease resting heart rate…reduces the wear and tear on the cardiovascular system.
- Keeps resting blood pressure normal…lessens the stress on the walls of the veins and arteries in the vascular system and reduces the risk of a coronary event or stroke.
- Improves heart efficiency…improves the ability to perform daily activities at higher intensities with greater ease.
- Decreases body fat…reduces the risk of major life-threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Increases HDL (good) cholesterol and decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol…reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)
- Lowers the risk of developing diabetes…keeps body fat in control, increases cellular sensitivity to insulin, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Promotes joint stability…increases strength of all connective tissue, decreasing susceptibility to injury.
- Increases muscular strength…improves ability to perform daily activities with less effort.
- Strengthen bones…helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and reduces the chance of injury and broken bones.
- Increases muscle mass and reduces body fat…improves physique with a more toned appearance, and the body burns more calories at rest and during exercise to sustain increased muscle.
- Increases resting metabolism…more calories are required by the body at rest, which helps with weight management.
- Improves core strength…develops strong abdominal and back muscles for better posture and less chance of back pain.
- Improves balance, coordination and agility…all movements in daily life become easier and safer when the body has better control.
- Improves body image and self-esteem…exercisers experience improved mental health and self-image.
- Reduces depression and anxiety…an improved outlook on life makes all activities more enjoyable.
- Assists in stress management…everyday life becomes more enjoyable because the person has a positive way to deal with stress.
For those of you thinking about becoming active, here are those questions:
- Which of the benefits above surprises you the most?
- Which benefit(s) do you most enjoy and appreciate? Why?
- How would your career and personal life change without your favourite benefit(s)?
- What are you doing today to ensure that you continue to enjoy your favourite benefit(s)?
- Looking at the list, what medication, if any, could you reduce or even eliminate over time with greater physical activity (with the guidance of your doctor of course?)
- And finally, does physical activity help me be my best self, will it help me perform at a higher level?
I suggest printing the list and questions, have them handy as you go about your busy day. Take a week or so and write down the answers as they come to you; you may be surprised by what you write. Finally, take a moment, perhaps on a weekend and reflect and then share your thoughts with a colleague, partner or best friend, who knows, they may just join you in starting an active lifestyle, what do you have to lose?
As always, I encourage everyone, especially men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55 to have a medical exam before initiating an exercise program. Active individuals should always have a full physical exam on an annual basis, I suggest just before or on your birthday.
Look out for an upcoming blog post that explains what it means to be active, the different types of activities we need to take part in and how often; we will provide some examples and suggestions. We will use the physical activity guidelines introduced by The American College of Sport Medicine and Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living introduced by Health Canada.
We become what we think about.
(*18 Health Benefits of Regular Physical Activity as listed in Can-Fit-Pro’s Foundation of Professional Personal Training Page 6)