To our ancient ancestors thousands of years ago, exercise was in fact a necessity and non-optional. Their daily survival depended on it. Hunting for food, building shelters, fleeing from predators and various other daily tasks and activities meant exercise was a constant daily activity.
Just 2 or 3 generations ago, land was cleared by hard work; wood was cut with hand saws, fields and crops tended to with manual labor and people walked or used bicycles for day to day transport. Women washed clothes by hand, cooked from scratch and keep the house clean without vacuum cleaners.
Children walked to and from school and recreational time was spent engaged in playing ball, climbing trees, running, jumping and hide-n-seek instead of sitting immobile playing video and computer games or watching television.
In an earlier age when so much time was spent engaged in physically demanding activities, peoples’ muscular systems were stimulated regularly and vigorously. So going out of the way to engage in any type of intentional exercise was unnecessary.
Things are very different now and as a result of technological and mechanization advances all of us place fewer demands on our muscular systems. The human body is a miracle of adaptability, capable of altering itself in response to loads placed upon it in such a way that future, similar loads will be less stressful. Likewise, it can and will adapt to having no demands placed upon it, becoming increasingly weaker, less capable and unfortunately more prone to disease.
It is easy to see how the combination of events over the centuries has led to increased body fat and the epidemic of obesity and ‘chronic lifestyle disease’. Fifty percent of the world’s population now has at least one chronic ailment and many have multiple conditions.
Although technology and automation provide for more comfortable lives and more leisure time, a very high price is paid by our muscular systems which impacts on our entire health status. Today, unless you have a job that requires a great deal of physical activity, you are going to have to give back a little of the leisure time you have gained through technology and mechanization.
This time will need to be spent purposely stressing your muscular systems through a proper program of strength training exercise to replace what is now missing from modern life. This will help ensure you retain your health and maintain your functional capabilities as you grow older.
Your exercise program is something that is non optional, it is no use saying you don’t have enough time or you are simply too tired after a day’s work to do it. You need to do it � you must do it � otherwise you risk your health and ultimately your life.
If you get your program set up properly by a fitness professional so it works as it should you only need 2-3 sessions of forty five minutes or so each week. This will give your muscular systems the movement they need to keep your entire body in good health.
The effort to become stronger shouldn’t become drudgery. Think of the benefits it will bring you � stronger muscles and bones, more energy, weight maintenance, improved blood flow, stronger health/lung system, a higher quality of life, and if you are lucky an extension of your life along with being a happier, calmer, less stressed person. It means improved self-esteem because you’re doing something for yourself.
Weigh up these benefits against the inconvenience against having to go to the gym two or three times each week. The scales tip heavily one way wouldn’t you agree?