Round 2: Exercise and Physical Fitness
Thomas Jefferson said, “A strong body makes the mind strong. The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise.” And after all, fitness is—gasp—fun! At least it can be. Yet, it’s a sad fact that many Americans don’t make fitness a regular part of their day.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 40 percent of adults engaged in no leisure-time physical activity in 2006. That’s an intimidating statistic, considering obesity increases the risk of many diseases. Our bodies were designed to move. Our bodies have 640 muscles that need exercise to keep strong. The most important muscle in the body is the heart as it pumps blood to the rest of the body’s muscles and organs.
Extra weight burdens your heart and decreases your energy and endurance. Extra weight is not what happens as we get older, but what happens when we eat more and move less. It not only destroys health, but it destroys self-esteem too. Everyone deserves to look fabulous, have more energy and feel good about themselves.
It’s easy to sneak fitness breaks in throughout the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking a fifteen minute walking break during lunch will reinvigorate not only your body, but your mind as well. Explore different forms of movement and sign up for a class you always wanted to try. Volleyball, golf, yoga, tennis, karate, basketball, fencing, and weight training are just a few fitness classes offered at local universities or health clubs.
Have you been inspired by Dancing with the Stars? Check out a local dance studio. Were you inspired by the Michael Phelps at the Olympics this summer? Check your local YMCA for a swim team that meets regularly? There is something for everyone. Just do something. Move your body. Find a form of movement that is fun because movement is life.
Exercise increases the flow of blood throughout the body and it is the single greatest factor available free to all of us for removing blockages in the arteries and blood vessels. A few benefits from regular exercise are improved mood, decreased stress levels, improved endurance, and enhanced sleep, toning and firming the muscles and protecting the body against the aging process.
Sign me up. These are just a few of the many benefits. The list goes on. If there were a pill that could do all that, it would be sought by everyone. People would travel the world to find it and would buy it no matter the price. Exercising is the easiest and cheapest way to improve health and is one fountain of youth.
So I dare you. Make fitness a fun part of the day. Find something that makes your heart sing. Positive changes in exercise habits can and will ultimately improve your life.
Derby said, “He who cannot find time for exercise, will have to find time for illness.”
Time to get moving.
Sumya Anani is a former 4X world Champion in professional boxing. She leads annual “Spiritual Warrior” yoga retreats to Jamaica, Guatemala and Colorado. You can listen to Sumya’s radio show, “Beat the Health Out of You,” Sundays 1-2 p.m. live on the internet at www.710kcmo.com.