What Gets You Moving?
I sometimes wonder what gets and keeps people involved in exercise programs. At my studio, clients comes from all walks of life with a varied exercise history. Some have exercised their whole lives in various forms, whether it be sports when they were in school or activities taken up later in life. Some have a passion for exercise and do not feel complete unless they have done something physical that day.
Others are embarking on an exercise program for the first time and wonder what or how they are going to feel. Will they be able to participate? Will they enjoy their new chosen activity? What are the benefits?
I think we all have our own reasons for exercising and working out and they may not be the same, but that is ok.
Exercise helps to develop a good body image, increase self esteem and confidence as well as adding a social component to one’s life. Exercise also helps to alleviate stress and often our clients view our gym as their own private sanctuary where outside stressors are left behind. Physical work helps to free the mind and gives you a much needed rest from the demands of work and life.
Physically the list of benefits of exercise is a long one. We know that as you gain strength, joints and muscles work much more efficiently. Balance, flexibility, stamina and injury prevention are all added benefits of a strength training program. Muscle decline or muscle wasting that so often accompanies aging is not as inevitable as it once was.
Cardiac health is also improved with strength training. Decreased blood pressure, increase blood flow due to increase in capillary beds as well as an increase in stroke volume and cardiac output all help to our cardiac system healthy, leading to a decrease in cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, stroke, artery disease and heart failure.
Other benefits of a regular strength training program are control of a cluster of symptoms often referred to as metabolic syndrome which can include weight gain, hypertension, glucose intolerance and high cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome can lead to a myriad of diseases and illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and decrease in life expectancy.
The list of benefits of exercise or specifically weight training is endless, but also are the risks of not participating. If you wish to lead a healthy and productive life into your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond then it is essential that strength training be an integral part of your exercise life. If you want to be “part of life” rather than watching life go by, then now is the time to get busy.
It doesn’t matter what your reasons are for starting or maintaining, it just matters that you do. What are you waiting for?
Till next time,