The Truth About Exercise, Part 1

High blood pressure – (your name here), high cholesterol – (your name here) , diabetes – (your name here) , cancer – (your name here) , stroke – (your name here), osteoporosis – (your name here), and the list goes on and on…. Do I have your attention? If not, just go ahead and sign your name next to one or more of the conditions listed above and make sure your medical insurance is paid; you are going to need it.

There are many well-designed studies that demonstrate a clear link between the lack of exercise and all of the conditions above. In fact, new conditions are added to the list every day. Exercise can reduce the risk of, or entirely prevent most chronic conditions. Need I remind you that these are the conditions most people die prematurely of today? Due to advances in medical science, people in this country do not die of TB, Diphtheria, Measles, etc anymore. No! What the most enlightened people on the planet today die of is chronic (self-inflicted) conditions. Did I just say self-inflicted? Good! You are paying attention.

Almost all of the chronic conditions that kill people today are directly related to lifestyle. For the most part, the term “lifestyle” is a code word for exercise, or lack thereof. So, if you develop any of these conditions listed above it is clearly the result of a sedentary lifestyle.

Now, I know that the current social and political trend in this country is to blame someone else for our own problems. But friends, when you are sitting in that hospital bed wondering why this had to happen to you, take a good look in the mirror, because it is all on your shoulders now baby! You, and you alone, are responsible for your health and the lifestyle choices you make.

If I have done my job, you should be feeling somewhat uncomfortable right about now. So why am I hitting the exercise thing so hard? After all, this is a fitness website. Anyone visiting this site is already interested in fitness and exercise, right? Yes, but being interested and actually doing something about it are two very different things.

In my experience I have come across many people who indicate an interest in getting into shape, particularly right around this time of year. The fact is that most people just “toy” with a healthy lifestyle. They exercise sporadically, never reach their goals, get frustrated, and stop. This type of scenario usually starts with the purchase of some sort of home exercise equipment or a membership to the local health club. It’s as if just owning a piece of exercise equipment or having a gym membership will magically help you get in shape. Well my friends, it won’t do anything unless you use it.

Typically, the motivating factor for someone to start exercising is his or her appearance. While I am in favor of anything that will get you off the couch, the point of this article is not what you look like. This is not an attempt to get you looking like a super model. This is an attempt to save your life! The facts are if you do not exercise regularly, on a consistent basis, you will most likely die prematurely from chronic illness.

The Facts

The facts are that less than 40% of all adults in the US exercise on a regular basis. This sedentary lifestyle has led to the current epidemic of chronic life threatening and debilitating disease.

If you are not regularly exercising, you are on your way to becoming one of the very happy members of the following groups:

13.5 million people with coronary heart disease.
1.5 million people who have a heart attack per year.
8 million people with adult-onset (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.
95,000 people with newly diagnosed colon cancer each year.
250,000 people who suffer from hip fractures each year.
50 million people with high blood pressure.
Over 60 million people (a third of the population) who are overweight.
(Source – Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA)

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