Recently I read an online article that tried making a case for why engaging in a regular exercise program is bad for those planning to start, or who has already started. At first glance, I thought it was a joke but the further I read, I quickly realized the article was no joke. In fact, I came across a few more articles with similar messages about the cons of engaging in physical activity. Listen, as much as I would love to condemn all the articles, and discredit those behind it, I will simply let you be the judge of whether or not participating in a regular exercise program is advantageous or not.

Regardless of one’s age or physical capabilities, everyone can engage in at least some form of physical activity. If you are an adult between the ages of 18 and older, there’s an 80% chance that you are NOT getting enough exercise on a weekly. And by not doing so, you are potentially setting yourself up for health problems down the road. The U.S. government recommends that adults (18 and older) get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, or a combination of both. The recommendation further suggests that adults should engage in muscle strengthening activities such as weight lifting, or performing push-ups twice a week.

If you are having trouble getting started, or you are just not sure if becoming a part of the fitness fun is for you, believe me, if you make the decision to start, you will never regret it. There’s absolutely no reason to be afraid. I can help you get started by designing a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program for you.

I can provide you with hundreds of reasons why incorporating an active lifestyle in your life is important, but you have to want to change your current behavior. And if you do, the benefits are endless.

Weight Control
Incorporating physical activities in your regimen can help you manage your weight; thus putting your BMI in its recommended state.

Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
When it comes to chronic diseases, heart disease and stroke are the number two leading cause of deaths in the United States Exercising can help lower your reduce your risk by lowering your blood pressure and helping to improve your cholesterol level. An optimal level is said to be under 180 mg/dl. A good level is said to be under 200 mg/dl. Borderline level is set between 200 mg/dl and 239 mg/dl; while high risk cholesterol level is said to be over 240 mg/dl.

Reduce Risk of Cancer
Research have shown that by being physically active, the risk of colon and breast cancer can be lowered. Women who are active have a lower risk of breast cancer than non-active women.

Increase Aerobic Capacity
Increase your body’s ability to store and use oxygen efficiently. By increasing your aerobic capacity, your body will be able to maximize its use of oxygen; thus given you power needed to go longer.

Build Muscle & Strong Bones
As we age, the need for strong bones and muscle mass becomes increasingly more important. In addition to providing support for the body, they help with the human movement. Having strong bones can help with the hip fractures, and non-contact fractures as we age.

Better Night Sleep
The notion that exercise promotes positive (good) night sleep can be traced back to biblical times, and the notion still holds true in today’s time. Studies have shown that aerobic physical exercise is an effective, safe, healthy, and inexpensive treatment approach to improving sleep quality, mood, and chronic insomnia in adults.

MENTAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT
Engaging in regularly scheduled physical activity can in-no-doubt help with mental focus, decision making, memory sharpness, and reduce the risk of depression.

INCREASE LIFE EXPECTANCY
Studies after studies have shown that living a healthy life that includes cardiovascular fitness program can
Increase life expectancy by 3.4 years after age 40. Individuals who are physically active for at least 7 hours a week have a 40% lower risk of premature death than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.

A study by I-Min Lee, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School outlines the ROI of exercise and life expectancy as follow:

Computing Years of Life Gained After Age 40 

-Running for 2 hours a week should gain you about 4 years of life
-2 Hours X 52 weeks = 104 hours per year for your remaining 40 years or 4,000 hours in 40 years.
-24 Hours per day X 365 days =8,760 hours.
-4 Additional years at 8,760 hours X 4 years = 35,040 hours of life gained

Investment: 4,000 hours expended running
Return-On-Investment: 35,040 hours of life gained/4,000 hours =8.8

LOWER ANXIETY
Anxiety is described as “distress or a feeling of uneasiness of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.”
Incorporating a moderate-high intensity exercise into your daily/weekly schedule can help reduce your level of anxiety. As your level of endorphins increases, your level of anxiety reduces.

DEPRESSION REDUCTION
In a case study conducted by Dunn et al between 1998 and 2001, before being analyzed in 2002 and 2003, on whether exercise was a qualifying treatment for treating mild to moderate major depressive disorder (MDD), and the close-response relation of exercise and reduction in symptoms was staggering.

The study concluded that aerobic exercise at a dosage that’s consistent with the government’s recommendation was indeed an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).

SELF-ESTEEM
Physical activity has been demonstrated to improve self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-concept, and self-efficacy, along with reducing the amount of reported depression, tension, stress, anxiety, including Post-Traumatic Disorder (Cohen G., Shamus E. 2009).