The Link Between Exercise and Your Health
Without a doubt, there is a strong link between exercise and health. Modern Americans live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, which has certainly contributed to the obesity epidemic and poor health of the American populace.
“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
On the other hand, when people do get off the couch and start a regular exercise program, the research overwhelmingly shows numerous health benefits are to be gained.
Benefits such as:
- Lower levels of stress
- Decreased risk of certain forms of cancer
- Decreased risk of stroke
- Improved mood
- Increased metabolism
- Lower cholesterol
- Stronger bones
- Improved sleep
- Increased joint stability
- Decreased arthritis pain (with proper restorative exercise)
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Decreased lower back pain
It bears mentioning that the above benefits are almost universally accepted within the exercise science community as being soundly proven through research. So why aren’t more people engaging in regular exercise?
Exercise and Health – Misinformation Abounds
With all these benefits to regular exercise, you’d think everyone would be starting an exercise program. As a fitness professional for over fifteen years, I’d say one of the main reasons people don’t exercise is due to frustration over not seeing the results they expect.
I’ve seen person after person start an exercise program, only to give up after a few weeks or a few months because they weren’t seeing results fast enough.
This is primarily due to misinformation people are constantly exposed to on two levels:
- That the primary benefit to exercise is cosmetic versus improved health;
- That major results can be seen in a very short period of time or in short training sessions, or without the benefit of healthy eating habits.
The fact is, recent studies have shown that weight loss is more likely to occur when you exercise at least four days a week. And, in order to lose weight, you must get your heart rate up into the target heart rate zone for over 20 minutes (it takes about 20 minutes for your body to burn off it’s energy stores and start burning fat for fuel).
This totally disproves those infomercial myths about losing tons of weight by exercising ten minutes a day just a few days a week.
Not only that – it doesn’t matter how hard or how often you exercise; you can’t out-train a bad diet. So, proper nutrition is just as important when it comes to staying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight.
The Best Reason to Exercise – Your Health
But hang on a second… what about the connection between exercise and health? Shouldn’t that be the real reason we’re exercising, and not just to look like some Hollywood airhead?
Absolutely! There are much more important motivations for engaging in regular exercise, not the least of which are good health and longevity. Keep that in mind the next time you get on your bike or go for a run or a brisk walk – you can only keep your body healthy from the inside out.
So, now that you know the real importance of the link between exercise and health… go out and break a sweat!