Solon: Why exercise gets a bad name

Fitness Station

THERE has been a wave of health and wellness information over the past few years. We often hear of people embarking on weight loss programs to great success and those who have effectively controlled their otherwise ill health by eating healthier and exercising consistently. However, there are a few who still do not ascribe to the benefits this simple and unheralded intervention can do for our health. Why does exercise get a bad name?

Some people do too much too soon

There is a gung-ho mentality that exists in fitness circles; The all-or nothing approach. While it is certainly admirable and inspirational, for those who are starting—of an advanced age or have significant physical limitations—this mindset does not work optimally. This mentality can result in injuries and often leave a bad taste in the mouth of someone who’s experienced the pitfalls of that strategy.

Many relate exercise to vanity not health

By now. the physiological benefits of exercise have been extensively studied and published. In fact, the body of knowledge for exercise physiology has evolved so fast in the past years that some doctors prescribe exercise interventions to patients suffering from terminal illness. However, when we think of exercise, we think looking good, losing weight and abs for summer. While these are truly effects of an exercise program, the more health-conscious members of the community may get offended, and exercise may instead be a shallow pursuit of one’s time. Why not chase both vanity and health, and ensure that health is first?

Injuries abound because of overtraining and years of poor programming

The fitness industry is currently a sunrise industry, however, this also means that there are little regulations in the education and standards of fitness professionals. This may change in the coming years. However, this lack of regulation poses risks to consumers. Just because someone “looks good” and is athletic doesn’t mean he is qualified, equipped and competent to guide an individual through a long-term fitness regimen. Our fitness professionals should know what to do, why to do it, when to do what and how it should be done for whom they are working with. There is still a long way to go to ensure that our fitness professionals have standards in a similar way nurses, teachers and other professionals do.

Exercise is without a doubt one of the best activities you can do for your long-term health. How you do it, with whom and why are perhaps one of the biggest questions before embarking on a fitness journey.

As always, consult your physician before pursuing a fitness regimen.


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