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Your fitness can be for everyone else

Your fitness can be for everyone else


The holidays – being about families - remind us that we want to be there for them; for our parents as they age, for our kids as they grow, for our friends that are our chosen family.

But, in order to be there for all the milestones you need to be healthy and able. And it would be best if you just weren't able to talk about it with them, it would be great to actually be there and maybe even participate in it with them.

So one of the best gifts you can give someone is being there for them for as long as you are able, and that means taking care of your health.

How do we do that?

Well, physical activity or exercise is "the magic elixir of health" since "there is no single medication that can positively influence as many organ systems (cardiorespiratory, vascular, musculoskeletal, mental, metabolic) as can physical activity" (see previous post).

So, the more fit you are, the less chronic conditions you'll have, and the more likely you'll be around to enjoy life and have others enjoy you!

And, not only does fitness let you live longer, you can also live better.

Fitness or a healthy lifestyle causes "Compression of morbidity," which means that you would be very healthy into your 90s and then quickly die, as opposed to being hospitalised for 30 years into your 90s, while slowly dying.

So, with fitness you'll not only be alive to say "that was great," you'll actually be able to be there to witness it in-person or better yet, you actually may even participate in it.

Similarly, a Mayo Clinic item, which states that regular exercise can:

  • Reduce heart disease risk by 40 percent
  • Lower stroke risk by 27 percent
  • Reduce diabetes risk by almost 50 percent
  • Reduce high blood pressure incidences by about 50 percent
  • Reduce mortality and recurrent breast cancer risk by nearly 50 percent
  • Lower colon cancer risk by more than 60 percent
  • Reduce Alzheimer's disease development risk by one-third
  • Decrease depression as effectively as certain medications and behavioral therapies

One final item, given "physical activity is the magic elixir of health" you can now see how your fitness level is being used as "a vital sign."

What this means is, your level of fitness is a measure of health, just like your blood pressure or temperature. As a note, vital signs are useful in detecting or monitoring medical problems.

Which brings me back to the start, in order to be there for all the milestones in your friends' and families' lives, you need to be healthy and able.

So one of the best gifts you can give someone, is being there for them for as long as you are able, and that means taking care of your health. And the magic elixir of health is physical activity or exercise.