You think you need regular physical activity just so you can get in the best shape of your life and date a cowboy with a body so ripped you can drool all over it? Well, yes, but that’s not the main reason. The main reason why we all need physical activity every single day is so we can stay healthy, and lead more productive and rewarding lives. Sitting in front of a computer all day has become a given, but various studies show that our bodies have not yet evolved to live like this – fast but static. Working out 3 or 4 times a week is great, but with so much inactivity in everyone’s daily life, we’re left wondering whether an hour at the gym several times a week can reverse the effects of our sedentary lives. Science says it can’t.
#1: Physical Activity Keeps The Weight Down
So what’s so wrong with sitting? University of Toronto researchers has dubbed it the “new smoking“ even if you exercise vigorously on a regular basis. A recent study using 130,000 participants from 17 different countries shows that 1 in 12 deaths could be prevented if people exercised moderately every day for 30 minutes. Weight gain is often the first sign of physical inactivity and too much sitting and has a host of health concerns related to it.
Excess weight has been proven to lead to various kinds of cancers, cardiac and coronary disease, bone, joint and muscle problems, and issues with our metabolism and immune system. In order to keep our weight in check, exercising every single day for about 30 minutes is the least we can do. This means ditching the car, getting off the bus a few stops before our destination and walking there, ditching the elevator and/or escalator and using our legs to climb several flights of stairs (no more than 3-4). Tweaking our habits is all it takes to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of various illnesses.
#2: Physical Activity Keeps The Immune System Going
Our immune system is our major line of defense against all sorts of dangers lurking around every corner, and you can work on making it stronger day by day. When you’re not feeling sick, including having a common cold or a runny nose, try to go outside and work out in the woods. Bring a bottle of water and dress lightly, but not too lightly if it’s really chilly outside because you won’t strengthen your immune system that way, you’ll just catch pneumonia.
Dress lightly and stay as active as possible to keep yourself warm. Run, do yoga, strength training, stretch, and breath, and follow up with a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts, kissing processed foods goodbye. In time you’ll notice how all those viruses making people around you sick just seem to pass you by without ever having any effect on you. That’s your strong immune system keeping you healthy and giving back to all those times you didn’t skip your run through the forest to go have waffles with your friends. Your body will repay you for treating it right more than you know, and all you need to do is be mindful of your actions on a daily basis, adjusting them to put your health first, and everything else second.