I thought I’d peel it right back this week and talk about why we should all get fit.
We all know that getting fit, and maybe changing some of our daily eating and exercise habits will benefit our health and ultimately our life, but why?
Let’s go through five reasons (some uber obvious and others not quite as much) why getting ‘fit’ will benefit your health.
l Strength. Although strength in itself might not be desirable to everyone reading this article - it should be.
When I talk about strength, I’m not talking about the bodybuilder style veins popping out of the alien-like muscles on display on the likes of multiple time Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman.
I’m talking about day-to-day tasks becoming easier. Going from an untrained individual, to a trained individual who at least once a week does some form of resistance training is going to have massive benefits on your health and day to day life.
Tasks like moving furniture around in the house, carrying shopping bags, picking up items off the floor, and popping things in shelves.
These tasks shouldn’t and won’t be out of your remit if you regularly lift weights.
Training the muscles that get tested in day to day life is step one of fixing this. We should all regularly be pulling, pushing squatting and deadlifting in order to combat this and get strong.
l Cardiovascular fitness. Let’s strip the phrase cardiovascular fitness down to ‘how out of breath you get’ and hopefully it becomes more digestible and relatable.
How many of you reading this column get out of breath doing simple tasks you shouldn’t be out of breath doing? Walking up the stairs, a five- second dart for the bus, even a longwinded sentence with some umph?
Regularly training your heart and lungs by moving fast and slow (it doesn’t always need to be 5am hill sprints in the rain listening to motivational podcasts) will have huge benefits on your ability to do more tasks without getting out of breath.
Nobody wants to miss their child’s /grandchild’s first 20 metres on a bike without stabilisers because they cant keep up the run.
Think about your general safety too, we should (dependant on age of course) be able to have a little run in reserve just incase.
l Weight management. What I mean by weight management is your ability to control your weight.
Exercise and fat loss tend to go hand in hand. I would recommend a training programme and some diet tweaks over things like WeightWatchers and Slimfast 1000 times over.
If you struggle with your weight, and don’t lift weights or do some form of resistance training and cardio work – then you’re missing a trick and now have your next piece to the puzzle.
My advice for people looking for ‘weight loss’ would be to start training with the idea of getting strong and fit, and watch weight loss come along as a by-product of your hard work.
Starting a training programme will mean you’ll start to burn more calories, and also having increased muscle mass means you’ll have an increased daily calorie burn as muscles require energy (calories) just to be there. More muscle = more calorie burn
l Massive improvements in mental health. This is a subject I’ve touched on countless times before, but I cannot express how important doing exercise is for having a happy and healthy mind.
Not only does the act of exercising release chemicals in the brain that literally make you feel happier, de-stressed and more relaxed, but also the effects of the training, and the positive changes it makes to how your body looks and feels will boost body confidence, reduce anxiety and quite frankly change your life.
Take the dopamine hit from a great sweaty gym session or run, and pair that with coming home, looking in the mirror and actually being proud of how you look?
l Prolongs your life. Okay listen, don’t hold me to this one, I have no control over people stepping out in front of the 32A bus on the way to their first gym session.
What I mean by this is exercise has been clinically proven to reduce your chances of illness and disease, slow down the body’s natural ageing process, and ultimately prolong your life.
It also doesn’t need to be gruelling, something I’m quite passionate about getting across. Only 10 minutes a day in your front room can have profound effects on your day to day life. Not everyone has access to a gym, nor would need to be in a gym.
There’s plenty more reasons why you should start a new exercise regime - or even just keep your current one up, but I wanted to pick the ones that are most relevant, and maybe hard hitting.
I’d also like to take a second to thank everyone who’s given me nice feedback about my articles, it really does mean a lot.
I love to write and I love the fact than something digested from one of my columns can have a positive effect on someone’s life. So thank you for that, and I’ll see you all back here in two weeks.