Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Let's get physical

It's time to get off the couch and get physical.
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Aug 11, 2009

The current economic environment, decreased disposable income for most American households, devalued retirement programs—these issues are totally beyond our control. Nevertheless, our own physical health and well-being are things that we can do something about. We worry so much these days about our investments, but when was the last time you invested in your own well-being?

Daily exercise creates a host of tangible benefits. Exercise reduces stress, helps boost energy levels, and reduces blood pressure. It initiates weight loss, improves eating and sleeping patterns, and recent studies have shown that it improves efficiency, attitude, and even our memory function. Plus, recognizing the positive physical results of exercise improves self image and boosts confidence in all aspects of our lives.

By initiating a program of regular exercise, we are investing in a preventative policy that decreases doctor visits and medical bills. Thus, by investing in our own health through various types of exercise, we end up saving money through lower health care costs. Some experts estimate that for every dollar we invest in exercise equipment, fitness classes, or health clubs (preventative health investments), we end up saving $80 down the road in health treatment costs. Prevention is worth a pound of cure.

It used to be that many forms of exercise could be expensive and cost was a limiting factor keeping many people from leading healthier lives. Today, however, much exercise equipment is remarkably inexpensive, easily obtainable, and some folks even have fantastic facilities for working out in their own homes. There’s little excuse for not exercising.

While we cannot control the economy, we can control our own waistlines. The return on investment for exercise is huge, not only for our own physical well-being, but also for our mental health. Exercise develops a healthier outlook, suppresses appetite, and reduces depression. It may also change our eating habits and help in developing a healthier diet. All in all a preventative, continuous investment in our health is just as important as any monetary investment that we make. So find the time to exercise. Even 30 minutes a day can be of great value. Also, encourage loved ones and team members to exercise. You can be a very positive influence in this way on a surprising number of people. Find the time to work out, and you’ll be surprised in how many ways it positively affects your life. Why are you still reading this? Go get your sweats on!

See you next week, Kev