The truth about exercise – You are Nature’s Machine!
Most of us don’t exercise regularly. We have more important things to do like going to work, spending time with friends and family or trying to finish that never ending to do list. Yet for some reason we don’t second guess or make excuses for not doing our daily routine activities like showering or brushing our teeth, otherwise we would smell and all our teeth would fall out! A similar thing happens when we don’t exercise, our arteries start to clog, and we get tired and weak. We were built to move, so why do we second guess it?
Your body is nature’s machine. Everything we do is performed through a series of movements of our joints, initiated by neurological stimulation and executed by muscular contraction. Your body is made of multiple pulleys and levers that work together to perform specific movements that allow you to walk, get dressed, climb stairs and get out of a chair. Like all machines, it needs regular maintenance.
You Were Built to Move
If you don’t use your car for a while, it will have problems, it may not even start! Our body is just the same, without regular exercise it won’t function optimally. Muscles will become tight and weak, and joints will become stiff. But our body is good at using other muscles and joints to get our day to day activities done, which feeds into a vicious cycle of muscle imbalance and compensation, leading to suboptimal function and poor health, leaving us feeling very average.
Sometimes our life can get a bit out of control and fitting in exercise is really challenging. But, most of the time, they are just excuses.
Excuse #1: Not enough time.
Our most time-consuming daily activity is going to work or school. Of course, work and study are two investments in your financial health, we have to pay the bills right? Likewise, exercise is an investment in your physical health. The difference is that exercise is far less time-consuming. Increased fitness and health also means you are less likely to develop a long-term disease and complications that require dipping into your financial savings.
Excuse #2: “It’s boring”.
Work is arguably more boring than exercise, yet we do it anyway because it is part of our daily routine, often for 38 hours or more per week. Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines recommend we do 2.5-5 hours moderate physical activity per week, that’s quite small in comparison
Excuse #3: “I’m thin already”.
Exercise is not only for those seeking to lose weight. There are plenty who are considered “thin”, but still have a low muscle mass or high body fat content. Regardless of weight, having altered body mechanics can ultimately lead to excessive loading stress on joints and irreversible arthritic changes.
Excuse #4: “It hurts when I exercise”.
Pain may be indicating that something is not working properly. Depending on the source, your pain may be one of many things, such as stretching of a tightened structure, or exacerbation of an irritated body part. A Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist will be able to assist you in determining the source of the pain and prescribe therapeutic exercises to help alleviate the symptoms you experience.
Physical activity should be no different from brushing teeth.
No one ever says “brushing teeth is good for you” because it’s a given and it’s already standardized as part of our daily routine. But “exercise is good for you” comes off as a motivational cliché that we’re lectured on, and sounds more like an optional plus rather than a core component of our daily routine. If treated as an option, it will be brushed off.
Exercise should be routine, not optional—a subconscious given in our daily activities. You were built to move.
The myPhysioSA Team of Exercise Physiologists are here to help develop a plan to get your body mechanics and health back on track.
We can help design an individualised program that can be done in one of our onsite fully equipped Fitness Studios under supervision. Or we can set you up with a targeted home based program that will suit your goals.
Call 1300 189 289 to book your first consult now.
Courtney Wharton, myPhysioSA Exercise Physiologist