What Is The Value Of Exercise?

What is the value of exercise?

The short answer is...that the value is beyond measure.

The long answer has filled mountains of books, blogs, magazines and seminars. I would like to share a few brief observations from my 10+ years as a chiropractor and lifetime of activity.

  1. Kids PLAY. Grown-up EXCERCISE. We would do well to take their lead and seek out physical activity that is fun and exciting that we are naturally drawn towards. Yes, some activities are more friendly towards the body than others, but the angst of forcing yourself to do something you can't stand will offset much of the benefits of that activity.   If I have patient that is 60 years old, complains of neck pain and headaches and is an enthusiastic boxer, then we have a conversation. If he tells me that it is boxing or nothing for him then I say let's help you keep boxing. 98% of the time doing something, anything is better than doing nothing.

  2. Our bodies like variety. Our brains love variety. When we eat the same meal every day it loses it's appeal. The same is true for exercise. Runners need yoga. Lifters need to swim. Rock climbers need tai chi. You get the idea.

  3. We do well when we have a REASON. "Because I should" does not count as a reason. Here's a few reasons that may interest you. These are a little academic. Your reason might be more like "So I can hike with my grandkids" or "So I can tour Cambodia."

  4. Our bodies are a gift. Visit a nursing home. Walk through the place and observe. Look, listen and smell what it is like to lose our physical function. Do you think that any of those individuals would see it as a chore to go for a long brisk walk in the sunshine? Have you ever been on the floor, unable to get up due to pain, sickness or spinal injury? It is scary. If you can move, you should move. You may be frankly surprised by how dramatically your body responds to a challenge.

  5. If you take a wild animal and put them in the zoo they get sick. Are you living in a zoo? Can you get a little more wild? Would you be less sick? Yes. Yes. And Yes.

  6. Poise. Grace. Physical Presence. Athletes and dancers have these qualities. It can be hard to describe, but when you see it, it is clear that this is the way that we are meant to move. Have you ever seen someone REALLY move well? Observe.

  7. Movement replaces pain. When we move more we hurt less.

  8. Life is hard. We should train for it. Something is going to come at you out of the blue that it would serve you well to get a little more ready for. This might be an injury, a pregnancy, a new job, an opportunity for exotic travel. Life is full of surprises. Building fitness is a great way to be more prepared for almost anything.

Life is meant to be lived. I can think of very few better ways to age backwards and enrich your life than to establish or elevate your fitness.

Dr. Roger on top of mountain