You're missing out on the best tool to keep you alive.
"Nah, I'll do it later."
"I can do it myself, I just need some time."
Why is procrastinating so easy? Even when we know we NEED to do something.
Hey, I get it. I can dilly-dally too. Needing everything to be perfect before starting the project I've been thinking about for months. Don't we just wish we were stoked 100% of the time to do the things that benefited our lives?
A common activity to not be exhilarated about is the gym. In fact, some of us dread it.
Why is that? Especially when all of us know that it's SO GOOD for our well-being.
Of course I am biased in this area. My area of expertise is in teaching movement that relates to the gym (a fancy way for saying people pay me to sweat, swear, and do extra work.)
But the gym is soooooo important! And I hope to outline why below.
There are 2 HUGE reasons why we should work out.
1. To increase the LONGEVITY of our lives
2. To increase the QUALITY of our lives
In a meta-analysis done on the effects of exercise and aging, study showed that a reduction of 30% with all-cause disease and cardiovascular disease (CV) is seen once regular physical activity occurs. This is apparent in both those who already have CV disease and those that don't. (CV is the leading cause of death globally.)
In this particular study, and additional 1-2 years of life were projected to be added to the subjects lives. These subjects had experienced little to no exercise before the study was conducted.
These types of physical activities weren't just a walk in the park either (see what I did there.) The study goes on to state that the greater the training volume, the better the benefits to the life were (duration x intensity.) In extreme cases, the study looked into Olympic athletes between 1920 and 1965 and estimated that they extended their lives by 5.5-6 years!
On top of the quantity of life, quality of life skyrocketed too.
Another study analyzed the emotional well-being of participants before and after working out. An increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect were stated by the participants immediately after there training sessions, seeing an increase in calm energy, energetic arousal, vigor and vitality as well as a decrease in tension, anger, depression, and fatigue.
These changes in mood and energy were also seen anywhere from weeks, months or years after the 12-week study was conducted.
The list goes on and on about how physical activity benefits and shapes lives.
"That's all well and good Daniel, but how does they make me want to go to the gym?" That's the million dollar question, isn't it? One researchers have been asking themselves while conducting these studies.
The information they have come across varies, but there is strong correlation to making it enjoyable, educational, and habitual.
If you have children, getting them involved in some sort of sport or competition (anything that involves game metrics and movement), education on movement competency, as well as starting off earlier in life all aid immensely in enjoyment for physical activity as they grow older.
For older adults, starting with simple movements, including some form of aerobic conditioning, removing interpersonal competition, educating yourself and working along-side others.
It doesn't have to be tough or exhausting to start off. When we control as many of the factors as possible, we see a more predictable and enjoyable outcome. Take the above chart as an example.
These little changes can drastically impact your life, and if you're already ahead of the curve, then keep it going because the longer you continue with exercise, the better off your life will be.
As you continue and evolve in your training, you will see an increase in these factors and set new standards for your health. Getting comfortable is the first step, then getting uncomfortable will allow for more growth and achievement.
Some of these things you've heard before and it might be going in one ear and out the other but we as a community we have to keep reiterating the importance of exercise.
In a time when pandemics are sweeping the world, depression is an all time high, physical activity is at an all time low and more and more uncertainty seems to be looming, we must be the change. The activists.
So as procrastination can play a big role in preventing you from starting on the healthier trajectory, seeing the benefits, motivating oneself through learning, starting off simple, and seeking out help will aid with your first steps to a better life.
This is a call to action for change and to start today.
Until next time gym warriors,
Berger, B.G, Tobar, A.D. "Exercise and the Quality of Life."New Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2011, pp. 483-505.
Gremeaux, Vincent. "Exercise and Longevity." Maturitas, 2012, pp. 313-316