Exercise: The Most Powerful Form of Medicine


Almost everybody by now knows they should be regularly exercising. The health benefits are endless as I’m sure you have heard thousands of times from your Optimum Performance Exercise Physiologist.

Why is it then, that the incidence of lifestyle related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes are continuing to rise in today’s society?

Sure, the life expectancy in a first world country is as high as it ever has been (in Australia Female 84 years and male 79 years respectively).

However, I would put this down to advances in medicine and availability of clean water. The answer lies in our lack of movement and not taking a regular dose of the most powerful medicine available to us all: the Medicine of Exercise!!

This is well illustrated in an article that a client of mine recently sent to me which appeared in the Sydney morning Herald on Wednesday, December 26 2012 (for those interested here is the link: www.rossgittins.com/2012/12/exertion-not-avoiding-it-makes-us-happy.html?m=1).

Subsequently what I found interesting is that the article was written by an economics editor, taking an economics approach to exercise. The author, Ross Gittins claims that “humans have a slothful streak. We want to live comfortable, enjoyable lives and we assume the less physical effort this involves, the better”.

“The progress of our civilisation has been our unrelenting efforts to take the effort out of all we’re required to do to live our lives”. He uses examples such as the industrial revolution and more recently today’s technology revolution. Now, many modern advances have definitely been for the better (I would much rather be typing this article than hand writing it- besides I don’t think any of you would be able to read my Grade 3 hand writing- I confess, I never received my pen licence back at primary school). However, as a whole, there is no doubt, that we as a society move a ridiculous amount less than our ancestors.

This is rather unfortunate, as exercise really is medicine and a few interesting stats that Ross quoted include: “Active people in their 80s have a lower risk of death than inactive people in their 60s”, “exercise can decrease depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioural therapy”, “regular physical activity has been shown to lead to higher University entrance scores” and my personal favourite: “Research shows that exercise makes you feel better” (thanks Captain Obvious).

So I urge you all to try and avoid the avoidance of exertion get moving more and don’t find a way to avoid taking your Medicine. Contact your Optimum Performance Training Exercise Physiologist to plan your exercise routine for the start of 2013 and how to best work around your schedule.

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