Why is Exercise Important? Learn the Reasons Here
Exercise! What does this word mean to you? It’s a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Either way, it’s necessary for our lives and today even more so as we tend to live much more sedentary lives. Driving instead of walking, desk jobs instead of physical ones, better household appliances, etc.
When you say the word “exercise” out loud, what images do you see? Is it a walk through woodland or a Lycra-clad group of people in a dance studio? Is it a team of muddy rugby players or a swimming pool with lane swimmers? Is it a jog outside in the fresh air or a session designed for disabled people? Exercise is simply physically moving. Any bodily activity that enhances* or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.
“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”
So why do many of us struggle to give it importance in our lives? Or start focusing on it, but let it fizzle out? How can we not make time for something so important? Surely if it’s going to enhance* our lives, keep us healthier and fitter, we’d all be doing it? Yes?
In my opinion, it’s about finding forms of exercise you enjoy doing and then creating a habit. Schedule them into your diary each week as you would any other regular commitment. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? No? Here’s the next challenge often when we start exercising, our body aches, we find muscles we didn’t know we had, we feel tired, we feel uncomfortable, we question what we are doing to ourselves?
At this time of year too, it’s cold, wet, dark and it’s just so easy to stay indoors, on the sofa, warm and cozy. It won’t matter if I miss ?… only one time, will it? In my mind, it’s a bit like not cleaning your teeth.
Would you go without cleaning your teeth? Maybe, maybe not! It too is about routine, isn’t it, hygiene, cleanliness, and having healthy teeth that don’t fall out!
If you don’t use your body, things don’t work as well, they even stop working. I often say to my exercise clients, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose* it! Or exercise is about learning to be comfortable sometimes with being uncomfortable.
The stronger and fitter your body becomes the more you’ll want to continue with your exercise routine. I promise!
Here’s My Story and How Exercise became a Part of My Daily Routine.
41 years ago my dear Nanny took me to dance lessons. I was an only child and quite shy. Latin and ballroom dancing was the start of my love for movement to music attending a wonderful dance school ‘the western school of dancing’ in Hadleigh, Essex on a Saturday morning at the age of 6. I continued to dance for 11 years most days, competing in the UK and Europe.
It was a wonderful time in my life. With the fabulous show ‘Strictly’ on right now I’m sure you can all see the joy it brings to the participants? It needs discipline, commitment, determination and inner strength to succeed.
What I hadn’t realized is how this was setting me up for my future and how it was already integrating exercise into my life. I just loved dancing.
However, at the age of 17 I went to college, and due to the high work demands and traveling, I decided to quit dancing! Life got in the way of my passion. To my horror, within that year I was diagnosed with asthma.
I couldn’t believe it. Asthma? Me? How? I was fit and healthy! Without waiting another minute, I sought out a local exercise class run in my village hall. I just knew I needed to get fit again. Sure enough, asthma disappeared.
From my own health experiences and the draw of brand new private health clubs springing up in my area, I decided to become an exercise to the music teacher at the age of 20. This week I will have been teaching exercise for 27 years! I’ve taught thousands and thousands of people to have fun and get fitter.
From step classes in the 80s, to Salafist today. From weighted workouts to aqua exercise in the pool. From large groups in main halls in leisure centers to private one to ones outdoors. From spinning to outdoor boot camps.
I now also teach people who are dealing with Parkinson’s, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and joint replacements. There’s an exercise for everyone. Including you, the person reading this. You just need to find the types of exercise you enjoy and can get results from.
This year, I had a bad accident, falling headfirst down a flight of stairs in my new home. I’d got up in the night to use the bathroom and became disorientated and walked off the top of the stairway instead of walking around the banister.
The result was an emergency ambulance to A&E having sustained a head, shoulder and hip injury and a stay in the hospital. To say that I was in a bad way is an understatement. Every inch of my body hurt! I felt like I’d been in a boxing ring and come off worst.
The concussion was totally debilitating, and I couldn’t think nor move properly for ages. I’m pleased to tell you that I’m now 6 months on post-accident.
Although I still have some effects from the fall, I’ve been back teaching for several months and due to not being allowed to drive for 6 months because of the head injury I’ve been walking everywhere, clocking up 90,000+ steps per week.
So, my question to you is, are you fit for whatever life throws at you? Are your mind and body strong enough to carry you through the years of your life? No matter what curve balls are thrown at you? The medical teams have told me I wouldn’t have recovered so well and so quickly if I wasn’t so healthy in both my mind and body. I’m eternally grateful that I am.
So, in my opinion, exercise is not an option, it’s a necessity. Even choosing to take the stairs, instead of the lift. Walking, instead of taking the car. Going to do a physical activity rather than staying on the sofa each night.
Choose to take care of your body and mind and use them both regularly. Find an activity you love doing or several. Feel what it feels like to be stronger, to have more energy, more get up and go, better flexibility, improved* circulation, a happier disposition. Because when you do, I know you’ll want more of it.
Start integrating exercise into your life and get fit for whatever life throws at you.
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