Far too many people exercise without even knowing the significance of why they do so. For sure they will enumerate a lot of reasons mostly on how to look good as their motivator. This makes entire the activity too focused on the aesthetic aspect of it and as such when the desired outcome is not achieved the enthusiasm to sustain it also dies a natural death. Even the proliferation of crash diets that promise fast weight loss only show a very narrow and limited understanding of the real reason why we need to lose weight.
To understand the importance of exercise requires knowledge of health and wellness. Health is defined as a condition that allows individuals to function at their best despite any handicaps or limitations. Wellness is a reflection of health and varies from person to person. It must be understood that wellness is a conscious effort, necessitating planning, commitment and dedication. A person is truly well only when he or she has embraced a lifestyle that allows him or her to achieve the highest potential for well-being.
Research has shown that lifestyle choices influence a person’s health. The so-called “diseases of affluence” that include obesity, heart disease, lung and colon cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, hypertension and cirrhosis can be traced back to behaviors borne out of consciously-made poor lifestyle choices. Over-consumption of processed foods and drinks, lack of exercise, cigarette smoking, lack of sleep and over-work are all conscious lifestyle choices that can lead to the development of various health and medical problems.
Health promotion, then, is an active process that requires an individual to take full responsibility for their actions. Cognizant of what smoking, overeating and drug abuse does to their health, it is incumbent upon each individual to adopt healthy practices to promote his or her own health. Some of these positive attitudes include engaging in regular workout routines and following a healthy eating regimen.
An awareness of what one eats and drinks is also another important component of health and wellness. Good nutrition really hinges on making fruits, vegetables and other natural foods a major part of the diet. Processed foods contain too much sugar, food additives and preservatives that not only strip the food of its natural nutrients but are also harmful to health. Closely related to good nutrition is the concept of physical fitness. Individuals who engage in a regular exercise program have been shown to have improved circulatory and respiratory functioning, decreased bad cholesterol levels and reduced susceptibility to degenerative changes as well as improved flexibility, strength and endurance.
The ability to manage stress through relaxation techniques and exercise is also an integral aspect of health promotion. Chronic and unmanaged stress leads to a wide host of health complications including susceptibility to infection, obesity and other injuries.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of how your lifestyle choices can impact your life, you’ll be even more motivated to engage in a regular exercise program, a healthy diet and reduce stress. Only by doing so can you achieve true health and wellness.