On Exercise: A Drug Worth Taking

On Exercise: A Drug Worth Taking

In the midst of doing some unrelated research, I ran across this noteworthy stat from the CDC:

“In 2010, about one in three adults (32.4%) who had seen a physician or other health professional in the past 12 months had been advised to begin or continue to do exercise or physical activity.”

Sooo.. should the other 60% (give or take a few % for those physically unable) ignore their physical activity levels? Or will their prescription meds bury the underlying symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle?

This is not an anti-pharma/anti-physician post, but an observation that one of the most powerful medications out there, exercise, is being seriously discounted.

Here’s another fun fact from the CDC:

“Percent of adults 18 years of age and over who met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic physical and muscle-strengthening activity: 20.8%”

1 in 5 people.

C’mon, it doesn’t have to be balls-to-the-wall training every day. Go for a walk, play with your kids or pets, or better yet, get in the gym with a simple strength training program.

It may not seem important now but having your independence taken away by an inability to move your own bodyweight at age 50 is a REAL threat.

Type 2 Diabetes, neurological decline, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease are REAL threats.

If that doesn’t scare you, here are two other stats:

“Only 6 states (Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Vermont) require physical education in every grade, K-12.”
“Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer).”

We are leading our nation’s youth down a path of declining life expectancy and physical incapability. A path that surely leads to parents outliving their children, increased healthcare and pharmaceutical needs, and a crippled next-gen workforce.

Our country has yet to see the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle from birth. Even the majority of my generation (Gen Y) was pre-smartphone and spent most of our childhood outdoors or playing with friends. And look at us, we are already riddled with obesity, back and joint pain stemming from poor posture and lack of mobility, and a greater concern for Netflix than any kind of physical activity — not to mention the ADHD, FOMO, and sense of entitlement (I’m guilty of all these things). It’s scary to think of the issues we’ll see as children go through their developmental years with little to no physical activity.

It’s up to you to make the change. Your wellbeing is your business, ignore it if you’d like. But know that you are setting an example for your family, and a sedentary lifestyle¬†is quite possibly the worst thing you could instill in your children.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”