Why do you exercise? Or better yet, why don’t you exercise?
When most people think of exercise, they think of changing their appearance. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this. Usually, exercise does improve your appearance! However, in one of my classes we have been studying how people tend to exercise more consistently and effectively if they have other motivations.
I know it’s sometimes harder to imagine better motivation than skinny jeans, but how about your own health? It’s true, we all love to improve our appearance, and that’s fine, but being active and maintaining a healthy body weight is probably much more important than you think. We all know obesity is bad for your health, but why is it so detrimental?
Did you know that the leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, nephritis, influenza, pneumonia, and suicide? Did you know that obesity is directly linked to heart disease, certain cancers (colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder), respiratory problems, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression? Clearly, you cannot prevent all injuries, diseases, and accidents (trust me, I still have a road burn scar on my shoulder), but what we can do is use our healthy choices to enhance our well-being.
Sure, we’re all going to die one day, and on some days we’re all going to feel like we’ve been run over by a rabid cat driving a school bus (or is that just my imagination?). Use your healthy heart and lungs to play with your kids, strong arms to open your own peanut butter jars, happiness to cause others to smile, and your increased chance of longevity to get to know your grandkids.
Take care of yourself so you can enjoy your life and spend it with those you love. I encourage you all to set goals for yourself as well as with your physical goals. Don’t just focus on getting a flat stomach. Also shoot for learning how to dance with your partner, feeling more energetic, or becoming more resistant to sickness.
What is holding you back? What do you have to lose? Are you afraid to fail? Are you afraid to try?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/presidioofmonterey/6878879116/”>Presidio of Monterey: DLIFLC & USAG</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>, edited by Anna Kallschmidt.