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Why Must We Exercise?

The article concerns the question – Why Must We Exercise? When we decide to lose weight we are told to eat a healthy diet and take regular exercise. Why must we exercise? The short answer is we don’t have to, but it’s a good idea. We hear a lot about the sedentary Western lifestyle being responsible for obesity. Not so long ago people did not have access to cars, labour saving devices or time wasting reality TV programs.

Why Must We Exercise

They walked more, pushed a lawn mower, swam in the river and stayed slim. We think early hunter gatherers were even healthier, eating an unrefined diet and actively hunting and gathering. This idea has even spawned a diet loosely based on what they may have eaten while waiting to die young from disease or accident.

Research into hunter gatherers in Tanzania found that although they had a more active life style than Westerners they needed about the same number of calories each day. The conclusion was that Westerners do not get fat because they exercise too little. It is because they eat too much. We only need to look in the average shopping trolley to see proof of the amount and type of food Westerners consume.  If we just kept to our daily calorie requirement we could take little exercise and stay slim. The problem is we exceed our daily calorie requirement.

The solution is simple – eat less food. But that is less easy than it seems. It may involve as much as halving your present calorie intake and that’s tough. This is where exercise comes in. You can either eat a lot less food and not exercise or eat a little less food and take regular exercise. You must, of course, change what you eat to more healthy food whatever you do. Not being hungry and exercising has to be better than being hungry and not exercising. That is the best of reasons why exercise is the way to go.

The next question is, ‘How much exercise?’ A lot of us are optimistic about the results we will achieve. The traditional stroll round the park to ‘walk off’ a roast Sunday lunch is not going to do much good. If you really want to burn off your Sunday lunch you must walk briskly for two and a half hours. It may be less exhausting to cut down on Sunday lunch, although half an hour’s walking is still a good idea afterwards. Be aware of the calories in what you are eating. There is nothing wrong in an occasional bar of chocolate – if you have time for the forty five minutes walking you need to burn off the calories.

For those who really cannot exercise it is still possible to lose weight with just a healthy diet. If you can exercise do so, it makes life a lot easier. I have used walking as an example, there are other forms of exercise worth considering, particularly those which exercise the upper body as well as the legs. Whatever exercise you enjoy it is sure to increase your fitness if carried out every day. That is the answer to the question, ‘Why must we exercise?’ We are not only losing weight the easiest way, we are using our muscles and getting fit as well.

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