CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- We all agree that being physically active provides us with a multitude of health benefits to improve our quality of life. So it's odd that so many people are physically inactive throughout their life. It raises the question -- why?
Generally, we can divide nonexercisers into two groups: those who have never participated in activity on a regular basis; and those who were once active but have abandoned activity along the way.
I don't like to exercise
The first group has made their mind up that they will never be one of those people who goes to a gym or makes activity a life priority. After all, they've tried exercise but nothing has made them want to keep it up.
Also, they feel overwhelmed by day-to-day obligations. In addition to full-time jobs, they must find time and energy for household duties, transporting children, caring for aging parents, home maintenance, car repairs, pets, shopping, yard work, cooking -- and the list goes on. They consider these things more important than taking a walk or keeping their muscles strong.
I was once active
This is a large and ever-growing group. They may have been quite active or perhaps an athlete at a younger age, but their bodies no longer tolerate the same type of activity. Instead of trying something new or less strenuous, they opt out. They might have joint issues and pain in their backs, feet, knees or shoulders from osteoarthritis. Exercise doesn't feel good and, in fact, it hurts so this seems like the only decision they can make.
There are numerous barriers that prevent people from committing to an active life. Confusion, intimidation, boredom, pain and monetary considerations are just a few. Finding ways to overcome or at least sidestep these obstacles is important if an active life is preferred rather than a sedentary one.
Break through the barriers
Confused or intimidated about how to exercise? Stick to basic fitness principles for a fast track to a fitter, leaner body. Don't expect to shortcut your way to better health. Slow and steady wins the race.