by Dale J. Ross
I work hard already
If I work out I’ll just get bigger!
I don’t have time
I did it when I was 16, 24, 28 . . .
I hurt too much
I can’t afford all that expensive equipment
If I can’t do it all the way, I can’t see the sense of starting
All that muscle will just turn to flab later
Exercise prevents atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stokes; it releases natural endorphins, promotes better hormonal balance, treats diabetes; it is more effective than medication for depression, improves chronic pain syndromes, prevents dementia. . .
. . . and it allows you to eat more of that stuff that you know you really shouldn’t have too much of but tastes so good and you will probably eat anyway – because you are already burning up the calories every day that will begin doing all the harm, if you don’t get up and do something about it!
Walking is a great activity and I encourage everyone to be up and walking all that they can; however it is also only one step away from just sitting on the couch. No activity is sitting there. The next lowest activity on the scale, as I do not count someone trying to make a point and bending their thumb as any purposeful intent to exercise unless they are recovering from a stroke or other similar neurological impairment, is placing one foot in front of the other. The message from the government health associations has been pushing walking for a long time now, but that is because people are not even doing that for themselves anymore. The fact is that walking is much better than just lying around, and just that much of a change can really impact your health. What about really exercising then? The government has now undertaken numerous studies into various exercise plans and found how absolutely indispensable truly working our bodies to impact health is. That only matters if dying blind or on dialysis from diabetic complications or having lost the use of half of your body from a stroke, or living every single day hating and afraid of life dreading just getting out of bed, or being in constant pain are the type of things that you want to avoid or get away from.
The first thing that I want to state though, is that you do not have to become a professional athlete or even train like one to have success. Exercise is simply a word coined to explain how you work your body to improve it, in the absence of doing the work that the body was actually created to live under. What all of the research is really showing is that this lack is deadly to us in many different ways. We have such excess available that even some of the hardest occupations today can be accomplished with ever decreasing effort and subsequently our health is what loses out. Exercise does not have to be expensive, but overcoming what is an unknown is what I have found to be the biggest barrier to someone saving their own life through a little effort.
If the body is given the nutrition it needs, worked like any other piece of equipment we use to keep it functioning, and rested appropriately, the medical community would have a whole lot less to do and every one of us, directly or through taxes, would be paying a whole lot less because the need simply would not be there. Individually, the happiness and changes that you can actually make happen are amazing. Planning ahead for success and preparing for change are important components I encourage before striking off on a new way of living. Lack of these calculating measures can too often lead to the complete destruction of goal attainment and, even worse, inoculate against future change concept acceptance and realization.
No one likes failure and rejection, so we tend to avoid unpleasantness that may come about from starting something that we are uncertain about, have not had success with in the past, are self-conscious about in the first place, and is typically viewed as a type of life-long never stopping continual drudgery. Otherwise Christmas and New Year’s exercise equipment purchases would not so readily be converted into clothes racks and yard sale items worth a little more than what is in the 25¢ T-shirt box.
Start off with a basic assessment of what is important for you and what you wish to see for your life regarding health. . . . Think about now, . . .
your future self, the future of those that are close to you, what kind of health you would like to enjoy (walks, hiking, trips, body form, medication avoidance, pain/complaint reduction. . .), health expense and expense avoidance, and how much of your life might conceivably be spent as a hospital or nursing home patient among other things. There is opportunity to learn even more that you may not be aware is part of this forward reaching view, but you should start with something. Next ask if you (and your health/your future) are worth just 15 minutes a day a few days a week? Are you worth that? Are your children, now, if, or when, you have them? Start there, then see what more you can enjoy in life.
Step forward without fear and embrace what can gain you life; we have been created for much more than what we typically are content to achieve.
Future article: Exercise, where do I start?