Alongside nutrition and sleep, exercise is one of three the most critical areas for good, sustainable health. You should treat regular exercise like it’s your job. Now, we all know that exercise is good for our health, but if you can’t keep a regular routine, know you’re not alone.
Here are a few reminders of why exercise is so important:
- Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
- Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
- When your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores — and work!
A very good book that helped “kick me in the butt” to exercise on a regular basis was: Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lodge. Dr. Lodge tells us this: “Biologically, there is no such thing as retirement, or even aging. There is only growth or decay, and your body looks to you to choose between them.” When we exercise, it triggers messages to “grow” to our mind and body. Dr. Lodge even gives a strong message to be active through various types of exercise six days a week for the rest of our lives.
Being active and regularly exercising is incredibly beneficial, and affects all aspects of your life. It’s linked to better sleep, weight loss, insulin regulation, higher energy levels, fat burning, lowering the chances of heart attacks and strokes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and so much more.
Personally, I’ve found that exercise is a great way to feel better, and can absolutely be fun too. Taking care of your health through exercise is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Exercise is one of those important priorities that goes right on my calendar as blocked time just like other appointments. We need to exercise like it’s our job. Change up the routine from time to time to keep motivated. There are so many options, from walking to running, hiking to skiing, a boot camp class with friends or a competitive Peloton bike challenge with hundreds of people streaming live. We really have no excuse.
If you’ve put off exercise for whatever reason, that’s okay. Why not try again? This time, start slow! Walk or bike ride around your neighborhood. Do some lightweight training. Play catch with your children. Try creating habits, much like I outlined in my blog, 3 Simple Habits for Better Nutrition.
Start slow, develop habits, and get moving!