Exercise is actually a form of medicine
Dr. Daniel G. Drury, Gettysburg College | 06.27.14
Why Do We Exercise? The reasons we choose to exercise or not to exercise on a regular basis are numerous and complex. Ask one hundred people this same question and you will get 100 different answers. Let’s face it, our lives are crazy busy. Who has the time to strap on some athletic shoes, drive to the gym and workout 5 days per week? For most adults, this just seems unrealistic and therefore not worth the effort.
Many people view exercise as a luxury which is reserved for the people who can afford exclusive tennis clubs and/or expensive 5 star golf courses. Still others view exercise as an activity specifically for those in training for athletic success. Athletics provides great entertainment at the amateur level as well as in the pro’s. Finally, some people associate exercise as a necessary evil that needs to be endured to look your best. Although all of these perspectives about exercise hold some truth, I think that most people are missing the REAL reason we all should exercise on a regular basis.
Exercise is actually a form of medicine.
Yes, that’s right, exercising on a regular basis provides physiological benefits that are often as effective, or even more effective than pharmaceutical interventions. Many diseases can be prevented and even treated with regular exercise. Diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and even depression all respond very well to a structured exercise regimen. People who exercise also can enjoy a higher quality of life. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the cardiovascular efficiency to do all the physical activities you did in your twenties? Wouldn’t you love to have more restful and recuperative sleep? Wouldn’t it be nice to live longer too! All of these benefits have been verified and re-verified by the medical community and the findings are astounding!
I am not alone in my opinion. As a matter of fact, the American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Association and 200 other professional organizations started an initiative a few years ago called: ‘Exercise is Medicine’. In short, this initiative was designed to motivate medical professionals around the world to consider your exercise habits as a vital sign that should be discussed and reviewed as part of every visit to the doctor. It’s that important. Also, they want people to realize that a regular dose of exercise has numerous medical benefits that go far looking good or just having fun. Exercise is an essential part of being healthy and the sooner we all (medical community and general public) acknowledge this medical fact the sooner we can reverse the horrible effects of sedentary living.
For more information about why you should exercise and hot to get started please visit: www.exerciseismedicine.org.
Dr. Daniel G. Drury
Chairperson/Associate Professor, Health Sciences