Reasons to exercise

Take charge of your health...and your life!

6-pack abs, toned arms and trim thighs, better energy...are these reasons to exercise enough to convince you? If not, know that there's much more to health and physical fitness than a nice looking figure. Your daily well being, long term health, and even your life span depends in part on how well you take care of your body.

For further info, see reference (1).

Stay motivated with these 2 critical reasons to exercise:

#1 Prevent disease, disability, and various medical issues from interrupting your plans and affecting your budget. (See Randy's story below.)


‘Randy’, a former client of mine, ignored these reasons to exercise. He chose not to be physically active as he worked very long hours at his auto repair shop--he wanted to make extra money for his family. He ate junk food at almost every meal, and maintained this lifestyle from his 20s through his 40s.

Even as his health began to decline, Randy did not listen to his doctor’s warnings. He continued with the same daily routine after he became diabetic and his blood pressure rose. Once he became very sick, Randy was no longer able to provide for his family, and his health care costs became extreme.

At the age of 51, Randy’s vision became very poor and his left leg had to be amputated below the knee due to diabetes. He also developed congestive heart failure. His kidneys stopped working, and then he needed 4 hour dialysis treatments 3 days per week. During his physical therapy, Randy was short of breath after walking only 40 feet with his prosthetic leg.

As a disabled person in what could have been the prime of his life, Randy deeply regrets the poor health choices he made. If only he had understood the reasons to exercise and maintain a healthy diet!

As Randy's story illustrates, regular exercise can improve your budget by helping to keep your medical costs down. A study by Johns Hopkins found a huge difference in health care expenses for people with preventable chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes (2).

For those with 5 or more chronic medical conditions, health care costs average nearly $17,000 / year. For people like Randy, expenses are obviously even more.

As you can see, the reasons to exercise and maintain a healthy diet go far beyond a trim waistline to show off at the beach. Preventable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease overload health care systems worldwide (3).

It’s clear from all the research that we as individuals hold the greatest responsibility for our own health. Whichever are the most compelling reasons to exercise for you (fitness, health improvement, finances, or personal effectiveness), use them to motivate yourself. That way you can enjoy all the benefits of good health, like another person I met the same week I was visiting ‘Randy’

#2 Improve your strength and energy and maintain the freedom to do what you like in the future. (See Michael's story below.)


While working out at a neighborhood park, I noticed a 56-year-old man, ‘Michael’, do quite a few push ups and pull ups spaced between 5-10 minute jogs. We got to talking, and then he showed me 2 amazing gymnastics-type moves that I had never seen before. He had an incredible level of conditioning, especially for his age!

Michael shared that he made exercise a priority for the past 30 years of his life. He fit strength training into his work day and he also made a point to go jogging several times per week. In his youth, he enjoyed the challenge of gymnastics exercises and he practiced them every week.

Michael’s future looks very bright. Not only can he continue to work and provide for his family, he can do just about anything he wants to do! Michael will probably remain healthy for years to come.


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Hi! I'm Rob Cowell, PT, the author of I enjoy sharing from my experiences in physical therapy, fitness & athletics. Thanks for visiting!

I have been in PT for years for back, neck and knee problems....I'm doing better than ever and have started weights again thanks to you.

Sharon G.

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