Yeah, it’s called “life”.
It never ceases to amaze me when I get questions like this, but at the same time I feel deep compassion for people who don’t understand.
Don’t get me wrong, I know many people have very physically demanding jobs that do no physical training other than a leisurely walk once or twice a week. These people already get plenty of physical activity, and the most important thing for them is to maintain good nutrition.
But if you’re part of the great majority of modern society, most of our physical activity involves things like doing stuff around the house, running errands, and maybe some light activity at work. Throw on a nutrition regimen that is less than stellar, and it becomes fairly obvious to the casual observer why we have an obesity epidemic going on in western society.
If you need an excuse to get out and exercise, here are some of the many benefits associated with regular physical activity – the most important of which is resistance training.
- Stronger muscles involved in respiration, resulting in greater inhalation and exhalation
- Stronger more robust heart, which improves pumping capacity
- Lowered resting heart rate and lowered blood pressure
- Increased red blood cell count allowing for more oxygen delivery to the working muscles
- Less risk for type II diabetes
- Reduced mental stress and chances for depression
- Increased muscle tissue
- Raised metabolism
- Reduced body fat
- Stronger bones (resistance training causes the bones to lay down more calcium)
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Lowered blood pressure
- More efficient movement of food through the gastrointestinal system
- Decreased incidence of depression
- Decreased incidence of pain in the body (i.e. low-back pain, knee pain, etc.)
This is just a short list of the most important benefits stemming from a lifestyle that includes regular bouts of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise.
I know it can be hard to get started, and trust me I’ve heard every excuse in the books.
I’ve even made a few of them myself. But the important thing is to get started.
How much do you need? Well, there are lots of different guidelines, but a great place to start is 30 minutes a day dedicated to some type of physical activity. The best way to split your time is to every-other-day do some resistance exercise, and the days in-between work on cardiovascular exercise.
It doesn’t take much, and who knows. You may actually enjoy working out!
If you already have a set routine – fantastic! Maybe you can challenge yourself with a little bit more. If you don’t know where or how to start, a qualified personal trainer is all you need to help make some positive changes.