Committing To A Regular Exercise Program
The human body has over 600 muscles, allowing it an extraordinary range and capacity for movement. Physical exertion should be as natural to us as breathing. Yet the average North American exerts himself very little. Our activity levels have been reduced by cars, assembly lines, farm equipment, elevators, washing machines,snow blowers, and golf carts, to name only a few labor-saving and consequently movement-saving devices.
Going against our genetic programming that demands that we use our bodies in a physical way leads inevitably to disease and degeneration. The high-tech, industrialized conditions of the modern world has led to a state where for many people their bodies are simply there to carry their head from place to place. Much of a person’s activity in daily life has shifted from physical activity to brain-related activity such as thinking, problem solving, goal setting, and communicating.
There is no doubt that the progressive decline in physical activity over the decades has contributed to a rise in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. We have to find twenty-first century substitutes for those physically challenging tasks we no longer need to perform. Walking, jogging, cycling, rowing, swimming, aerobics, dancing—there are lots of possibilities.
Your body demands a certain amount of physical activity every week; without it, you can look forward to a degenerative process that is not unlike starvation.
Even if your diet is ideal, your muscles will degenerate and shrink without adequate exercise. They will also become more susceptible to tears and ruptures. They will no longer adequately support your joints, especially your hips, knees, and lower back.
You will be prone to osteoarthritis. Your bones will lose calcium more easily, increasing your chance of developing osteoporosis. Without adequate physical activity, you can count on progressive deterioration of your muscle and bone structure, your cardiovascular integrity, and other organ systems.