IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET HEALTHY WITHOUT EXERCISING?

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NO!

I don’t care how many articles profess cleaning a house, walking a dog and standing instead of sitting at a desk constitutes exercise; these activities do NOT SUBSTITUTE for structured exercise programs. They are all good activities and should be incorporated into our lives, but structured physical exercise is mandatory to achieve and maintain good quality physical and mental health (over a lifetime.) The main reason I make this claim is that activities change over a lifetime. Dogs get old and pass on, standing at a computer gets tiring and sometimes painful, etc…

Structured exercise is DEPENDABLE. It ONLY requires the individual to choose to participate to maintain good quality physical and mental health.

Many people claim they don’t exercise because they “don’t LIKE to exercise.” This explanation does not entirely and truthfully explain why people don’t exercise. Most people do not like getting out of a warm bed in the morning to go to a stressful job. They do it anyway. Most people do not like doing laundry. They do it anyway. Most people do not like paying taxes to the government. They do it anyway. 

Why is EXERCISE any different. THE ANSWER IS  people believe INCORRECTLY that quality living can be achieved without spending the additional time and effort exercising. People who think this way are WRONG! In many cases people will only learn this TRUTH when it becomes too late.

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WHY IS EXERCISE ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD HEALTH?

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1. EXERCISE strengthens heart and lung function. Increased oxygenation with better vascular circulation under LOWER PRESSURE improves heart function and SLOWS DOWN THE AGING PROCESS.

2. EXERCISE acts as a positive source to channel stress. It prevents overactive damaging stress hormones from causing chronic inflammation that results in disease and dysfunction.

3. EXERCISE prevents the formation and progression of ARTHRITIS. How often have you been told that arthritis is “just part of the aging process?” Arthritis is certainly common, but is CERTAINLY NOT NORMAL! It is a response by the body to damaged areas and/or weakened function that leads to diminished capabilities and ultimately loss of quality living. Strengthening muscles supports joint integrity and muscle function. Increasing flexibility by stretching, yoga, pilates, etc… increases active range of motion. All of these structured activities prevent the “old person” shuffle we FALSELY believe comes with aging.

4. EXERCISE adds a quality physical ACTIVITY within a SOCIAL environment (if one chooses to exercise at a gym or healthclub) that uses TIME PRODUCTIVELY.

5. EXERCISE prevents physical and mental limitations in life. Why would anyone want to work HARD and create a nest egg over a lifetime, only to be limited in life’s pleasures as we age. Whether it’s running with grandchildren or traveling the world, our physical health is the ONE COMMONALITY REQUIRED among all of us.  What is the purpose of living a “long life” if we can’t participate in the things we enjoy because our physical and mental limitations make it impossible? Does anyone truly equate mere EXISTENCE with HAPPINESS?

6. EXERCISE shows you VALUE  YOURSELF and your QUALITY OF LIFE!

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You can add your own reasons on top of this short list I’ve started. Just remember, with every reason you add to the list, you confirm to YOURSELF the ESSENTIAL need of incorporating structured exercise in your life.

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70 comments

  1. I’m glad to hear you say that, because my Silver Sneakers program at the gym actually DOES appear to be working.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You and I discussed this in the past. I think I remember you originally questioning how effective your program was? Glad to see you answered the question YOURSELF. Keep up the good work. You only have to do it for the rest of your life. I wish you MANY days of exercising ahead of you. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Definitely agree. I never have more positive energy then I do after exercising.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We don’t always look forward to exercising, but we ALWAYS look forward to the BENEFITS of exercising. It isn’t the total story about healthy living, but it certainly plays an important component.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this article. I look forward to reading your published works as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good words ! I stopped exercising for four years, and at the end got sick. Cold all the time, infections, depressed etc. Before I was exercising 10hr/week and never had any health issues. Now I’m back and feel amazing !

    My “structured exercise program” is a training plan from Garmin. It was one of the 9 proposed when I got the watch, with different intensity depending on your preferences.

    I just follow it and it makes exercising easy. It doesn’t have to be hard

    But there are many (free) training plans or structured programs on the web.

    Would love to write more, but gotta go and run !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your words are so IMPORTANT! You exemplify the points I expressed in this article. A doctor’s message often comes across as an “academic” one; when readers convey personal experiences that prove the article’s message, it adds credibility and REALITY to the meaning. As people read about your personal experiences, it will help inspire people to alter harmful paths they currently follow and seek out healthier ones offering better outcomes.

      Thank you for sharing your story and helping spread opportunities for others seeking change.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not certain if I consider walking 100 meters in a day is considered exercise, but I always make sure I do it everyday. I’m not actually into the strenuous work out, but I have to make sure I do my walk session everyday. Thank you for elucidating the importance of engaging ourselves to exercise.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Walking is a great part of exercise. Resistance training (weights or bands) are equally important to protect against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. By combining walking (or bike riding, jogging, stair climbers, etc…) with weight training the body achieves a COMPLETE program (both aerobic and anaerobic.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree 100%. After receiving a diagnosis of congestive heart failure at the age of 49 two years ago (after many years of bad choices), I have lost 110 pounds and exercise every day. I am healthier today than I have been in the last 20 years. Without a doubt, exercise has been the key. Without the change in lifestyle, which was making exercise mandatory, I don’t think that I would be here today!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very important story to share, Zen Hiker. I hope that more people share stories like yours to prove the message I write about is more than an academic idea; it’s a reality that affects the quality of living and life itself (as you’ve learned!)

      Keep up the good work and ENJOY every day you’re given in this world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that there are things that exercising does to the body that helps make our bodies healthy. Been an athlete and health and fitness enthusiast I have learnt from experience as well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So many people view exercise as recreational activities WHEN and IF time permits. They do not realize its essential role in maintaining healthy function. Thank you for sharing your personal views.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha so true. The common theme “I don’t have time to exercise/workout”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The “common theme” is a COP OUT! The “truthful theme” is “I don’t want to CREATE THE TIME to exercise/workout.” I care a great deal about people and their welfare, but I am not willing to participate in enabling them to gain popularity.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah I don’t want to create the time to workout so I’m just going to take the easy approach and make excuses

            Liked by 2 people

  7. Its like you know when I need a little push….thanks….I am getting my pool exercise in but I really need to add some stretches and weights at home….xxxxkat

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Increase your saffron intake…your lack of stretching and weights might simply be a memory issue 😀 .

      Life is a constant juggling act. Not easy, but who deserves the effort more than YOU! As we start patterning our lives to ensure we provide ourselves the essential needs in life, we begin feeling better about who we are and realizing our true VALUE. This awakening motivates positive behaviors making it simpler to follow a healthier course in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks…I will do that…..

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Awesome post, thank you!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking your time to read this article. I hope my articles challenge conventional thinking and help people invest greater time in THEMSELVES. Making SELF a priority is NOT selfish; it is essential to be in good physical, mental and spiritual health if one aims to be able to help others.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree and keep up the great work! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Great post as per usual. We all know the benefits of exercise. However, it is sometimes hard to get up, get going and get motivated. I mean..Netflix. That being said, even if I only exercise 20 minutes a day I certainly feel the effects for the rest of the day (and even sleep better at night).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exercise is NOT about time (20 minute vs. 60 minute routine,) but rather about investing in self value and self health. It is a commitment to providing oneself an essential component necessary for quality living. Too many people view it simply as a recreational activity. It is as important as sleeping and eating. Getting people to truly understand and believe this is challenging. Life is not always about what you want; sometimes, it’s about what you need. Without exercising the body we “STARVE” the joints, muscles, brain and heart without the luxury of SYMPTOMS (early on.) The damage goes unnoticed. For most people, this means the damage isn’t real. When we begin experiencing PAIN and DYSFUNCTION, a new reality appears. If people truly VALUED their own lives they would focus on PLEASURE rather than PAIN. Exercise increases FUNCTION which increases life’s pleasures. Rather than focusing on feelings about exercise, it’s time we focus on the PLEASURES in life we can enjoy as a RESULT of exercise.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. All true. I hope other people read your insightful comments to me.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. The amazing benefits of exercising!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exercise needs to be viewed in simple realistic terms. We know without food we starve the body of nutrition. What people don’t know is without exercise we “starve” the body of FUNCTION. It simply takes longer for SYMPTOMS to show comparing food starvation with exercise starvation. I use the term “STARVATION” because it creates a more realistic image for the average person to understand the ESSENTIAL need of exercising.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Great article and you are so right. Years ago I had a long-term depression and first when I got to do heavy exercise, it disappeared , short story but true.
    Today I walk my dog for hours, meditate and do yoga to stay in better health.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. It doesn’t have to be long to be impactful. People read other people’s comments and this helps reinforce the essential role exercise plays in quality living. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can add, that I did get medications in that time and yes, they kept me alive, but the exercise made life worth living again.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I have always stated and personally believe that pharmaceuticals play an important role when prescribed in the right situations. I do NOT oppose pharmaceutical drugs as a blanket statement; I oppose the over prescribing of unnecessary and improper drugs when alternative less harmful options are clearly available. A proper informed decision with ALL reasonable available options should be provided to the patient so the PATIENT CAN DECIDE which option best suits their needs.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I agree so much and then I also think, that there should be information, when one first is stabilized and ready for next step, which could be exercise beside, until one feels well enough to skip the medications.

            Liked by 2 people

  12. What a fantastic post! I have to say number 6 is my favorite!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Whichever reason resonates with readers is the PERFECT reason to exercise!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Cheering for #2! I started exercising so long ago because I was so skinny I looked quite unhealthy. It was a vanity thing. I wanted my body to look different so that’s what got me in the gym BUT I soon discovered that it did wonders for my mood. It’s an excellent stress reducer and now, although I really like having a better physique, the way it makes me feel is the main reason I happily keep on going.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely. Anyone that denies enjoying the aesthetics that exercise produces is likely to develop Pinocchio Syndrome (a lying NOSE.) As we get older, however, we begin to realize aesthetics without a healthy heart and functioning body is a minimal asset. Those who seek BALANCE between aesthetics and function usually experience a better quality of life. Something tells me you fall into this category! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I had to smile at the beginning of your post about housework, walking the dog, being classed as exercise…do you know how many times I have heard that? I have always said, well it’s a little part of exercise, but not really exercise in its true form. Exercise needs to be a lifestyle, like waking up and brushing ones teeth. My daughter didn’t feel like going to HIIT this evening as she had had a stressed day at work, I told her, you need to go, it will be the best medicine. She came back a different person, energized and feeling totally de-stressed. Thanks for a great post Jonathan 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good for you AND her. It is easy to do things in life we enjoy; doing the NECESSARY things when we don’t feel like doing them often separates those who achieve greater outcomes in life.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. […] IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET HEALTHY WITHOUT EXERCISING? […]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you as always for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I strongly agree to this. I used to workout at least 3 days a week. It literally made me fee energized and I haven’t been sick since then. But then I stopped because of conflicts with my schedule after that I think my immune system got weak because I easily get sick. I’ve read some articles that exercise improves our overall health and boosts our immune system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exercise plays a vital role in strengthening immune function. It is only ONE COMPONENT, but an important one. Incorporating all the other components including nutrition, sleep, hydration, stress reduction, social interaction and nervous system communication helps support maximal immune function.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How often should a person exercise? Should it be everyday? Thank you for that wonderful information!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Most people can attain the physical goals they are looking for exercising 3-4 times a week. Personally, I exercise 4-5 times a week. Exercise is an activity that must be introduced with a FREQUENCY that an individual can maintain FOREVER. Lots of people have good intentions and exercise 6-7 days a week. These people, however, rarely if EVER maintain exercise in their lives. Whether its exercising or eating, don’t start something you can’t do for the next 40 years of life. If you make your lifestyle REALISTIC, you are more likely to maintain the discipline.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I think I should get back on it again. Thank you so much!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Always a pleasure.

              Liked by 1 person

  17. Health Mastery Movement · · Reply

    What an important post! Pretty much everything you post is important, but especially this topic.

    I must say that owning a mini trampoline (rebounder), has helped both of us exercise more regularly. Not only is it a fun exercise, it’s also low impact and gets your entire lymphatic system moving.

    The main picture you chose to use is especially telling. If you sit at your desk a majority of your life, then don’t expect your health to be all that great.

    During times of less exercise, my body feels “off.” My joints also end up feeling stiff. It’s just my body’s way of saying “Get moving!”

    One thing Bob likes to do is park at the very end of the parking lot whenever we go somewhere. While doing that alone doesn’t equate to actual exercise, I’m sure it contributes to our overall health. Movement AND exercise are vital to our overall well-being in general.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You obviously GET IT! Life is about BALANCE and structured exercise AND movement is part of this balance.
      I used to tell my patients, “if you follow ALL my healthy recommendations, do you know what the end result is?” They would typically say, “better health?” I would answer, “NO, DEATH,” BUT before that final moment, it would likely be a LIFE WORTH LIVING!

      By changing the way we view ourselves, it makes it easier to comply with lifestyle modifications. When we truly VALUE ourselves as important individuals contributing to the betterment of society by using our individual talents, it becomes so much easier to ACCEPT a healthier lifestyle. We realize we owe it to ourselves as well as to each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I am 65 years old and taking the cardiologist’s advice, I walk between 3 and 6 kilometers a day unless the weather is really bad. We (my daughter and I) walk on the beach, in the bush, on the train tracks and swim when the weather permits. The locals think we are “not all there” but you just vindicated my lifestyle and I love you for that. My daughter takes her camera with (and sometimes the overweight dog) and when we get home, I blog about our experiences while she works. I hopped over from another blog where you left a comment and I am determined to hang around to read the rest of your articles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your defiance of other opinions makes you a stronger person. Keep following the path YOU know is right and the journey will be worth the investment in effort and time. Thank you so much for supporting my writing. I look forward to reading your opinions in the future.

      Stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 2 people

  19. How much excercise must one do a day to see results? I honestly can’t do more than 15 minutes of a hard work out! I am still recovering post opps

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exercise doesn’t have to be high intensity. You can also do shorter bouts of exercise and add a second workout in the same day.

      Results is a difficult question to answer. Some are looking to lose weight; some are looking to tone muscle; some are looking to improve endurance, etc… It depends on what your goals are.

      Regardless, a person in recovery from an operation should not “push” a workout because the body already needs energy for healing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I really like your way of thinking !

        Liked by 2 people

        1. 39 years of experience has taught me the meaning of “REALISTIC.” This is why I write the way I do. I care about LONG TERM results that people desire and REALISTIC methods to achieve them.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I agree. I try to set day by day goals. And week goals. To month goals. My motto is achieve what you can then set higher goals. It helps me somehow hahaha 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I’ll bet you find this approach doable and REWARDING. Reinforcing successful approaches to achieving results increases personal motivation.

              Liked by 2 people

  20. oh! I can starve

    and stop eating but I cannot do exercise 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We can do whatever we CHOOSE to do. Given enough NEGATIVE incentive, you would be surprised at your ability to exercise. Of course, choosing to do it while HEALTHY is an option that produces even better results.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe, but I am not so sure.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I guess it comes down to two choices:
          1. Wait to see if something harmful occurs that you will have to attempt to undo.
          2. Be proactive and prevent harm from occurring.

          I have many more years of experience (based on my age and professional career) dealing with this subject. I can assure you, those who do not ACTIVELY take responsibility for their health suffer the consequences. I hope you consider this reality because most people believe disease and dysfunction will “happen to someone else.” What they don’t realize is that THEY are the “someone else!”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. yes! I started with some brisk walk today but sadly for 30 minutes only :/

            Liked by 2 people

            1. NOT SO SADLY! If you exercise 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week, you would significantly improve the health of your body. You would improve heart and lung function, lymphatic flow, BALANCE, immune fuction and so much more. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. To make it a life long endeavor, only exercise within a capacity you can commit to FOREVER. Do NOT try to exercise everyday or make each workout an unnecessary length. This is how you create a healthy habit you can maintain FOREVER!

              Liked by 2 people

              1. that’s interesting! thanks

                Liked by 2 people

  21. Thanks for the tips, they are valid. I’m thinking I may repost this post later.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thank you for taking your time to read my articles. You are more than welcome to use any of my material if your feel it can benefit your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “Be the energy you wish to attract.” ~Unknown

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I actually had to google this because I had never heard it before. You are light years ahead of my thinking. It is a WELCOMED personal learning experience. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I so wish I could take credit for that mantra, but I found it on Pintrest, an endless well of inspiration, much like this place. :o) Here’s to your happy and healthy heart this lovely Valentine’s Day! ❤️ 💙

        Liked by 2 people

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