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Why Start an Exercise Program?

Does the thought of starting an exercise program excite you? Scare you? Stress you out? There are probably several different emotions that run through your mind when contemplating a change in pace. Starting a fitness program can be a little intimidating, but it is one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.

There are obvious reasons why we should start an exercise program. It can help us lose weight, improve our health, and continue our independence in the future. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Regardless of the reason, taking control of your health and well-being by choosing a healthy lifestyle will help you stay in control of your quality of life.

Here are just a few of the healthy benefits of starting an exercise program:

  • A better handle on weight control
  • A better self-esteem
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • More energy on a daily basis
  • Better digestion and circulation
  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • Improved flexibility
  • Increased libido
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved frame of mind (exercise has both physiological and psychological benefits)
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Improved posture
  • Increased resistance to infections and disease
  • Preservation of youthfulness and longevity
  • Reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and high blood pressure

Use It or Lose It

We’ve all heard the expression “use it or lose it.” It means that if you don’t continue to practice or use an ability, you might lose that ability. If a person doesn’t exercise his or her physical body, he or she will likely lose strength, stamina and endurance. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your body fat will increase. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently, and your joints will be stiff and easily injured. In fact, a new study shows that not moving enough may be as hazardous to your health as smoking!

Moving instead of sitting is not only critical for safeguarding your health, but it also helps set a good example for your kids. Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Overweight children often have trouble keeping up with other kids and participating in sports and activities. Sadly, this can have a significant impact on BOTH their physical and psychological health. Several research studies have found that obesity is linked to mood and anxiety disorders. This means that if your child is obese, they may be more likely to suffer from a mental health condition like depression or anxiety. As a parent, you can be a good example and make a difference by taking preventative measures now. Get your kids out of the house! Take them to the park, take a walk after dinner, go for a bicycle ride, or have them help you with some of the yard work. This is a great way to spend some time together as a family and it will make a big difference in their health in the long-term.

Why does it seem so hard to get moving? The truth is, we are lazy! The pandemic hasn’t helped! Most people know that working out should be a priority, but most people are also really good at making excuses to avoid it. Typically, when we start an exercise program, we think of all the reasons why we can’t do it and all of the obstacles that have stood in our way in the past. We need to go beyond the means of knowing how and why exercise is important. We need to develop the right mind-set to get started and find a good reason to stay motivated.

I will be the first to tell you that it will take some work. Growth is painful. Change is painful. However, nothing is more painful than being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

In Conclusion:

So why start an exercise program? The bottom line is, we weren’t meant to be sedentary. Our bodies need movement! Regular exercise is one of the cornerstones of a healthy, vital, body and mind.

Physical activity on a regular basis is necessary for physical fitness and good health. In addition, it reduces the risk of developing many health-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. What’s the icing on the cake? Exercise can improve your appearance, help you fit back into those jeans, and delay the aging process. You will not only feel better, but you will look better, too.

Find your reason ‘why’ exercise needs to be a priority in your life. That reason needs to be important enough to get you off the couch. If I had to choose one word to sum it all up it would be Perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. What is the reward? The reward is that you’ve made a decision to make a change in your life for YOU so you will have more time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones. Start an exercise program that will be good enough to keep you motivated and moving in the right direction today, tomorrow, and for years to come. Good luck to you.

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.