Yes, exercise, physical activity, movement, call it what you will…but it is medicine. It is the single most important health intervention of the century. The most under prescribed preventative and treatment of modern day lifestyle diseases.
Now, don’t cringe and recoil back into the sofa at the thought of the painful and humiliating experience of “going to the gym”. When I say exercise I mean movement: natural, flowing, feel good movement like dancing, swimming, cycling, walking and stretching. That is what our bodies crave .It’s what our bodies need: we were made to move.
Try and stop thinking of exercise as just a way to lose weight…it is pretty damn hard to work off just one chocolate chip cookie never mind all the hidden sugars we eat in so-called “healthy foods”. Instead, view it as a tonic for health, a balm for the body, a mood-enhancer, a brain-booster, an investment in your future health. You will find that you begin to do it to feel good and the side-effect, without you really trying, will be weight loss, or at least weight management.
So, what does a daily dose of regular, moderate exercise give you? Scientific study after study has provided us with enough evidence and proven health benefits that we would be fools to ignore it. In fact, if it were a pill, I think we would all be fighting to get our hands on a supply and pay silly money for it. But here’s the thing:it’s free! Take a look at some of the benefits:
That’s a lot in one pill! And it has been proven beyond doubt. Exercise and movement should be firt-line therapy in most chronic conditions, if only there was a big drugs company to promote it. You could choose to pop a pill instead of walking daily, because it just seems easier. But I am sure many will agree: once you start on medication, soon the list just seems to get longer, side-effects change the body and it becomes harder to control what is going on inside you.
EXERCISE AND MOVEMENT changes you physiologically, emotionally, psychologically. It affects chemicals and hormones in the body and mind positively .It changes the way your body burns fat, the way your muscles and liver respond to glucose ,the way you fight infections…it’s a life-enhancer!
And even though we can’t guarantee adding years to our life, we could all do with adding life to our years here, living each day with vitality, energy and health. When you are feeling down or tired just remember this little quote and then go out and use it!
“I have two doctors: my left leg and my right” (GM Trevelyn)