Our body was not designed to be sedentary, in fact, it was designed or evolved to be very active. Understanding this extremely important point is usually the difference between a healthy person and one who, through fault of their own, is unhealthy. Those who understand the true meaning of “feeding the body exercise” are often the healthiest in our society and likely to be the ones who live long and fulfilling lives.
I shouldn’t have to mention this but by attributing fault or blame to a person being unhealthy, I mean for those who deliberately make poor lifestyle choices when they have other healthier options at their disposal.
People like to party and most of us overindulge from time to time but if we do these perfectly normal exuberant human behaviours we must also do the work to balance the effects. Because, if we feed our face food and don’t feed our body exercise the scales don’t balance and pretty soon we’re heavy with the prospect of developing all sorts of preventable diseases.
There’s no excuse for an otherwise healthy person to not know what foods are bad and why exercise is good. Even the most undereducated human in a first world country would know these fundamental rules because our TV, internet, radio, and general society educates and reminds us all EVERY day what bad food is and how good exercise is for us. Actually, it’s likely a sedentary person would consume more health wise information than an active person!
So why then are people ignoring a healthy diet and regular exercise? I think the answer is simple and the main reason why many people choose not to eat healthy food and not to exercise regularly is because good food and exercise is not seen as “fun.” It’s not immediately gratifying!
We live in a society of fast internet, quick tweets, easy entertainment, motorised transport, fast fixes to issues, and fast food. People just don’t want to take an hour out of their day to go for a walk, jog, do some gardening, or a gym session. People don’t want to spend the time preparing food, cooking, and cleaning when they can just buy it ready made.
Who can blame them for taking the easy options – why not hey? Me… I blame them and I think they lack character and they should know they are judged by their cover. They need to wake up to themselves and stop blaming a “busy life” or “genetics” for their poor motivation to eat right and exercise more often.
Some people are now using mobility scooters/vehicles to move around because they are overweight – now isn’t that just a disgusting misuse of modern technology by making a self-induced disease even worse through even less exercise.
Our body and mind loves to eat food and the signals to tell us this fundamental life sustaining reflex are always strong; however, our body and mind loves to exercise also, it’s just that the signals to remind us of the importance of exercise are more subtle (and often it's only obvious after exercise is done).
This is because when we eat, the gratification is mostly as we do it – through taste – yes, we may feel “full” after but the enjoyment is usually in the eating. However, with exercise the opposite is true, whereby, gratification usually comes after exercise in the form of endorphins and a sense of relaxation or achievement. Unfortunately, to get the good feelings of exercise often a person needs to go through an uncomfortable period where exercise can be arduous rather than fun and this alone deters some people from undertaking regular exercise.
You could put it this way: feeding the body food is immediately fun and gratifying as you do it, whereas, feeding the body exercise is only fun and gratifying after the fact. Therefore, eating is much easier then exercising psychologically as a way to gratify the body. Add to that, the human’s ability to override our own instincts and emotions can mean we control the urge to be active even though we know it’s bad for us.
Think about a dog and a ball for a second – bear with me. Why do domestic dogs like to chase a ball, run on the beach, or go for a walk? Fun has a little bit to do with it, sure, but dogs are hardwired to exercise and that’s why dogs like exercise. And, why are dogs hardwired to exercise? Because, exercise is good for them even if they don’t know it they instinctively do it.
In the wild, a dog gets enough exercise naturally through hunting and surviving. Domestically, if a dog is not given the opportunity to exercise and is overfed, it will become unhealthy and miserable – even crazy! Get my point? Now, let’s get back to humans who can understand instinct and control their emotions.
The term “exercise is a drug” stemmed from those of us who are prepared to go through the “hurt” of doing exercise to get to the gratification stage. The feeling after an intense exercise session can be as good as any fine dining experience or takeaway hamburger, and even better, the benefits are huge.
Nevertheless, I don’t want to make it sound like exercise can never be fun – that’s not true because it certainly can. I’m just illustrating the point as simplistically as possible to encourage people to discover how feeding the body exercise can be as rewarding and enjoyable as feeding the body food. Moreover, people need to realise that unlike eating often the enjoyable part of exercise comes later and once people understand this fundamental point they no longer complain about exercise as being boring or no fun.
If more people can get the message about our body requiring both types of feed (food and exercise) equally, then here’s hoping we can reduce the burden obesity and other weight induced diseases have on society. More importantly, individuals can discover for themselves the life changing experience healthy eating and regular exercise can bring so their lives and the people around them can be more complete and fulfilling.
Most of us have choices in life and that’s a blessing in itself, but choosing to overindulge and be inactive for long periods as you watch your backside swell so large that the simple action of walking becomes an effort is a terrible act of self-harm. You know it’s time to get real when you’re considering a mobility vehicle just because of overeating and lack of exercise.
Feed your body exercise just as you feed it food and you’ll never be accused of lacking character by me ever again… I promise.
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Mark Valencia Editor SSM
Respect your body and keep it healthy through regular exercise…