Last week I wrote about abstract reasons for working out, basically to create and sustain a good attitude and internal mental environment, readying us for the demands of life. This week I am writing about the physical and physiological reasons for exercise in our lives, those more tangible reasons.
Exercise can cure type 2 diabetes! Wow, what an astounding statement, are you jumping up and down in excitement right now knowing it’s that easy to avoid one of the scourges of our day? That statement alone should be more than enough to steer us all to greater activity in our lives. You would think the known fact that exercise can help cure and prevent many problematic issues and diseases would be all we need to know to physically challenge our bodies, regardless of the difficulty perceived or felt in doing so. However, this isn’t enough for some, as it doesn’t seem worthy and applicable to our present enjoyment, and the correlation is not made or felt. So I will plead the point with ever more groveling and gratuitous pandering to our more impulsive and fast food culture side, trying to immediately satisfy the need for ‘readily apparent reward’ and instant gratification.
Okay, here goes:
–Better Sleep: We sleep better as our bodies are equally tired with our minds after some sustained level of activity.
– Injury Prevention: When our bodies are fit, we don’t get injured as often when changing the light bulb, cleaning the windows, or tying our shoes.
–Healthy Nerve Function: Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease progress via the loss of neurons, and exercise is one of the few ways scientists have found to generate new neurons and protect existing ones.
–Look and Feel Better: Your heart will be stronger, so you won’t be huffing, puffing and stopping to rest going up those stairs. You will have more lean tissue, your muscles will be more toned, and your dating life will skyrocket to the top!
–Rest for our Mind: During intense exercise our minds are forced to shut down for a time, giving us a break from the endless impulsive thinking we engage in every day.
–Toxin Reduction: When exercising we sweat toxins out, as well as removing more through increased oxygen intake and better circulation of lymph fluid.
–Structural Integrity: Through inner postural, spinal and abdominal muscles strengthening, you will have better alignment and stacking of the joints, and therefore less joint injury and pain.
I have a neighbor who I’ve been friends with for almost 10 years, someone I really enjoy, admire, and look up to because of his consistent demeanor and vibrant, loving spirit. Talk about going with the flow of life, he is that river that meanders to fit the terrain, and the tree that bends and bows to all weather. Through noticing and watching him through the years, he has taught me that there is really no reason to get hyped up over things. I have tried to emulate him the last few years, as I would love to be as even keel and easy going as he is. It was fitting one day a few years ago when he told me that working out for him released aggression, and that he can’t imagine what he would do with it all pent up if he didn’t work out. I thought it quite interesting that while working out helped me with depression years back, the serotonin and norepinephrine increase lifting my mood, it helps him to positively express and utilize his unused, stored up energy, calming him in the process. Perhaps we’d have a safer society, with less conflict and violence, and more happiness, if people got consistent activity in their life.
I hope I have proven my point for exercise in your life, doing it some justice. Many of us take for granted our body’s abilities, our opportunities for activity, and the joy in movement. Unfortunately, often one doesn’t realize what they have until they have lost it. If you look after your body, it will serve you well, for a body in motion stays in motion. Don’t diminish your body’s physical capabilities unnecessarily through neglect, for you may wish to get them back someday, only to realize you’ve done irreversible damage and have permanently limited your movement. Who knows when you will be called upon by life to be the hero or to rescue someone; be ready and physically equipped for what life may ask of you or present you with. As the ol’ saying goes, “Use it or lose it!”