Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why You Should Exercise (It's not what you think)

Okay, so we're past the part about exercising
for beauty, right ? Well, I seriously doubt it--
but lots of people will hear me out.

I'm going to talk about health using common
terms so that I don't lose you in semantics.
I will also speak matter-of-factly; try not
to take offense to concepts like bowel
movements, as they are a simple fact of life.

I offer these reasons to exercise in order
of importance:

To Boost Your Immune System
"Weight-bearing exercises" place stress on
your bones. Your bones house your bone marrow.
Your white blood cells and immune system
are primarily manufactured in your bone marrow.
In simple mathematical terms, exercise equals
boost in immuno-response and a greater ability
to fight off sickness. There is nothing
worse than being sick. In the worst-case
scenario, sickness can cause death.
Death, hello?
That's why I list this one first.

Hand in hand with the immune system is
your ability to heal. Proper exercise promotes
health, which in turn helps the body to recover
from stress, heal from injury and get back
to life as usual. A physical therapist will make
you move in order to heal.

To Facilitate Mobility
Mobility is highly underrated. You will take
it for granted every day of your life until
you break your leg. Once you get to hobble
around on crutches or roll in a wheelchair, you
will no longer take mobility for granted.

It seems everyone understands that stronger
muscles are better for movement. Exercising
the muscles can increase or maintain the
power to actuate the joints and their range of motion.
Mobility also has a hierarchy:
  1. Crawling
  2. Hobbling
  3. Walking
  4. Climbing (as in stairs)
  5. Running
  6. Sprinting
  7. Tele-porting (this takes a lot of body skill)
To Enhance Bodily Function
I know, these sound weird, right ? When you're
used to exercising for beauty, this stuff sounds
so primitive. But the greatest athlete in the
world won't perform at peak levels when he
or she can't poop.

Proper exercise facilitates pooping, and digestion,
and circulation. Repetitive exercises have been
proven to enhance the production of melatonin,
the chemical that helps you sleep. Exercise can
really bolster your bodily functions which include:
  1. Autonomic function (heart, breathing, blinking)
  2. Mental health: (attitude, anxiety)
  3. Sexual function (;-)
  4. Control (breathing, sphincters, appetite)
If not for beauty, this is usually the primary reason why
folks exercise. Athletes need to perform on demand.
This requires many different body skills that can
be developed through exercise:
  1. Balance
  2. Coordination
  3. Speed
  4. Power
  5. Accuracy
  6. Stamina
  7. Proprioception (awareness of one's position in space)
Tomorrow I'll discuss why you shouldn't exercise.

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