Doctors, researchers, scientists, fitness professionals and even ancient philosophers have claimed that exercise works like a drug. So why are so many people not exercising, especially when there are little to no negative side effects to keeping fit? AMG London’s resident Rejuvenation Health Coach Michelle Kerr shares her ideas.

A coach on the couch

The other evening I was watching television. Yes, I was sitting sedentary for hours on end, glazed over, channel surfing, unable to find a program that captivated my interest. Then, I happened across a commercial promoting a drug for a so-called “better existence”.

What I found disturbing was the list of side effects. These were remarkably shocking; severe and far outweighed the benefits of the drug. Over the course of the next hour I watched 8 more commercials with the same message, albeit for different drugs for different symptoms and diseases.

Sitting is the new smoking

The consequences of a sedentary life are as well-documented as they are dire. People with low levels of physical activity are at a higher risk for many kinds of cancers, heart disease, chronic diseases, and early death by any cause. What’s more, us humans are notoriously bad at assessing the long-term risks of poor choices for our health and our bodies.

As a society, we are motivated by rewards. So, why do we not find that the proven scientific evidence based benefits of exercise motivation and reward enough to get off the coach and get moving? The benefits of exercise include slower aging, better moods, less chronic pain, improved sleep, enhanced skin and eye health – the list goes on. All are real, measurable and almost immediate, and with no negative side effects.

And yet we will pay over $100+ for a bottle of pills (if not more), rather than exercise. Simply by exercising, we might no longer need any medication or at the very least, reduced amounts.

Exercise your brain

In addition to the heart, muscles, lungs and bones, scientists are finding another major beneficiary of exercise is the brain. Research has shown links between exercise and better memory and quicker learning, not to mention a decrease in depression. Studies suggest that exercise is the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, which is second only to cancer as the disease that Canadians and Americans fear alike.

Reaping the benefits of regular exercise

It is evident that nearly everyone – young, old, pregnant, ill – can benefit from regular exercise. As scientists learn more about why, there is hope that physicians will prescribe exercise. There’s also the hope that people in general will discover what they have been missing by not exercising – optimal health. Exercise is a true form of medicine, it can regenerate, restore and repair, and it is a lifestyle choice you can make, right here, right now.

For more information on the role of exercise in health and wellness, and how AMG London can help, call me on (519) 873-1640, or sign up for one of our regular fitness, exercise or dance classes. I look forward to welcoming you soon!

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