"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." -Plato
In the personal training field I have had the privilege to work with people of all ages, fitness levels, and lifestyles. To every single one of them, regardless of age or background, fitness is important. On the surface, its great to have six pack abs or huge biceps but that isn't what really matters. Regardless of age, what matters is improving your quality of life now and for the future. Being able to move better, feel better, and live better should be the primary goal of any exercise program.
I have new clients that come to me all the time with various conditions, injuries, and/or dysfunctions that are a direct result of lack of physical activity over a long period of time. Through exercise we are able to significantly, if not completely, correct these issues. It's an incredibly rewarding feeling when you have a 50+ year old client that is now able to do things again for the first time since they were a teenager. The quote above from Plato is one of my favorites. Those who begin exercise young, and never stop, are able to preserve their strength, movements, and health throughout their life. Those who don't exercise, are slowly deteriorating. That sounds harsh but it's the old "use it or lose it" theory. Those who don't exercise become significantly more susceptible to an overwhelming amount of health issues. Some of these issues have a domino effect that lead into other, often more serious, issues.
For example, Obesity:
In addition to the health-related issues, lack of exercise causes muscle deterioration and lack of mobility at your joints. Both of which become incredibly dangerous as we age. Lack of muscle strength and mobility increase the risk of losing balance and falling. One-fourth of Americans age 65 or older fall each year, resulting in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths (CDC). With increased strength from exercise some of these falls could be avoided.
The worst part of this whole equation is that the medical community is so quick to prescribe pills or suggest surgery instead of prescribing exercise. In some cases pills and surgical procedures are necessary and unavoidable. However, many of the issues above could be treated with exercise or would have never become issues in the first place if exercise was a priority.
Exercise is the best, and most natural form of medication. It is time to make it a priority in our everyday lives!
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