The Top 5 Reasons You Should Exercise in 2018!
- Exercise, especially diverse, well-balanced exercise, can reverse muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances exist in all of us, and if they are not reversed/corrected, they can progress to chronic joint pain and/or weakness. Muscle imbalance is often evident in rounded, slumped shoulders; large, protruding bellies; and sore lower backs- all of which and more negatively affect posture. Participating in an exercise program that features ‘pulling’ exercises and proper core (abdominal) activation training can aid in restoring proper joint function, muscle balance, and posture- all of which will elevate the way you look and feel, which leads me to….
- Exercise makes you feel better about yourself. It has been well-reported that physical activity causes the release of chemicals in the brain that cause us to feel happy and relieved, perhaps even euphoric. But there is another feeling that exercise gives us, especially long-term exercise, that cannot be explained by a chemical reaction, and that is increased self-esteem. Perhaps it is the act of losing a few body fat percentage points or inches on the waist, or maybe it the improved posture referenced above, or probably a little bit of both. But regardless, exercise makes us look better, and when we look better, we feel better about ourselves; and when we feel better about ourselves, we look better. It’s funny how that works.
- Exercise improves mood. See above- there is a chemical reason for this. But who among us hasn’t been in a rotten mood after a long, difficult day at work, and although it was tough to drag yourself to the gym, afterwards all those frustrations had melted away into a puddle of sweat on the floor that you didn’t even have to clean up! It doesn’t get much better than that!
- Exercise reduces the risk/severity of chronic disease. Okay, I know this one is boring. But since the Mayans were wrong, and we are still here, we may as well try to live a disease-free life, a life defined by quality- not one spent in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. The risk of disease across the board is reduced with regular physical activity. One link is certainly the fact that contracting skeletal muscles release chemical messengers that reduce systemic inflammation and elevated inflammation is associated with the development and progression of most of the diseases that plague our society today. A second link could be the fact that exercise aids in blood sugar management- another lynchpin in the progression of chronic disease. Reduce your disease risk to live a higher quality life, and you just might increase the quantity as well, which bring me to number 5…
- Exercise improves longevity. Yes, this is my favorite subject, and is the source of my famous white board diagram (see left). Along with many other components of a healthy lifestyle, the right types of exercise can increase the lifespan, all the while enhancing the quality as well. And the benefits listed above, all promoted by regular exercise, certainly aid in improving longevity. If you feel better about yourself, spend most of your time in a good mood, and avoid developing chronic disease, you are setting yourself up for a long, high-quality existence.
Keep moving in 2018!