Exercise is Medicine
Many people look at physical activity mainly for the purpose of losing weight and looking better, often hoping for quick results. At times with this mindset, the results aren’t as fast or dramatic as hoped and in turn a lot of people give up. It’s too hard; too much work for too little reward. No matter how hard you try there are certain limits to the changes you can physiologically achieve to your body. As soon as you stop seeing and feeling the changes to your body you are likely to become disappointed and seriously question the value of the effort you are putting into the exercise program. This is because exercise was simply a means to an end, in this case unrealistic changes to your body, rather than a behavior that truly connects with who you are as a person.
Switch your thinking for better health and you’ll be more likely to stick to your program.
Research has clearly shown that whether a person starts to exercise for extrinsic or intrinsic reasons will affect a number of critical exercise-related outcomes including whether they stick with a program. Findings have shown that a person who starts exercising for extrinsic reasons such as a desire to improve physical attractiveness, lose or maintain weight,or to develop a fit and athletic image exercise less and drop-out in higher numbers than people who start exercising for more intrinsic reasons such as for fun, to reduce stress, and to improve health and fitness.
One of the top reasons people stop exercising is because they have unrealistic goals they are trying to obtain and consistently fall short (because they are unrealistic). Set smaller, simpler goals that you can achieve in a realistic amount of time. It is understandable if you start exercising for extrinsic reasons but the key to long-term success is to shift your reason for exercising to something that you value intrinsically as soon as possible.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Globally, 1 in 3 adults are not active enough, according to the World Health Organization. The National average of Americans that exercise regularly is 49.6% while nearly 80% do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week.
Research shows that a low level of physical activity exposes a patient to a greater risk of dying than does smoking, obesity, hypertension, or high cholesterol, and for older men, regular physical activity can decrease the risk of death by 40%. Additionally, active individuals in their 80s have a lower risk of death than inactive individuals in their 60s. In fact, a low level of fitness is a bigger risk factor for mortality than mild-moderate obesity.
It is better to be fit and overweight than unfit with a lower percentage of body fat. Adults with better muscle strength have a 20% lower risk of mortality (33% lower risk of cancer specific mortality) than adults with low muscle strength demonstrating the importance of strength training.
Regular physical activity can: