Physical activity: if you could only do one thing

By | July 13, 2012

Physical activity - key to healthSo, as I have been learning more and more about how to stay healthy or get healthy, I have heard a lot of different things. One expert summarizes his advice into seven key areas, which I get into in another post. Another expert recommends that we eat less and mostly vegetables. Another article was a study into the characteristics of the longest living populations. In general, I would summarize the advice as some basics that no one seems to dispute and then each expert has their own, maybe considered more extreme, area of focus. For example, most do not dispute the value of eating vegetables, and then there are those that advocate eating only vegetables. Also, all know we need Vitamin D, and then some advocate a much larger quantity than the average doctor recommends. Anyway, though it all, if we are talking about general health, either retaining or gaining it, if there were one thing that might be recommended, it is physical activity. Physical activity seems to be a major key to health.

First of all, I am not saying that physical activity will solve every health problem there is. No. What I am saying is that physical activity comes up as a common denominator of good general health. If you are struggling with mental challenges, such as stress, which we seem to all struggle with, physical activity can be a major help. If you are shooting to try to live to be a hundred, physical activity should be a part of the plan. If you are concerned about weight, physical activity is a part of the solution. If you have any of a numerous list of chronic diseases, physical activity is often part of the plan for recovery. If you want to strengthen your bones and reduce your chances of getting bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis, physical activity is one of the keys (I just learned this one). If you want more energy, have you tried physical activity?

What do i mean by physical activity? This can be walking to the store, walking at the mall, yoga, jogging, swimming, basketball, rock climbing indoors, and so many more things. It does not need to be a marathon, it does not need to be intense, it does not even need to be aerobic. Sure, these can be good, but the key is that we do something. Again, consult your health care provider if you have questions.

Yes, it is pretty obvious to all that physical activity is a key to good health. We all know this. What I am trying to emphasize is that if you could only do one thing for health, physical activity might be it. I am kind of soft in my advice, because health is complicated, I am not a doctor, and I do not want anyone to just blindly jump into something that might not be for them. Use good judgement and talk to your health care provider. What I can say is that as I hare been studying health, many experts seem to strongly emphasize the importance of physical activity to health. For me personally, all of this research strengthens my conviction to be involved in regular physical activity throughout all stages of my life.

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