by Coach Dan Kehlenbach
Why do we exercise? People often answer this question with responses like “to look better, to feel good, to relieve stress, to lose weight, to gain weight, to play basketball without getting hurt,” etc. The answers are virtually limitless, because exercise plays an important role in the daily lives of many people.
What we don’t think of, however, when we consider why we exercise is that exercise is a necessity for the human body.
Our bodies were NOT designed to sit behind the steering wheel of a car for a half hour, then sit at a desk for 8-plus hours, then get back behind the wheel and, finally, finish the day sitting in front of a TV or computer screen for another few hours.
The human body, by virtue of its anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and biochemistry, is designed to MOVE! Our tendons, muscles and ligaments are arranged to support physical activity, not sedentary lifestyles. In the days before technological advancements, we had to move around solely on our own two feet, chase down food, and build shelter in order to survive. In the 21st century we are afforded many “luxuries?!” that have minimized our need to move.
A general decrease in physical activity and its associated health problems have prompted the Surgeon General to display warnings similar to those on packs of cigarettes – “Warning – Physical inactivity is dangerous to your health.” Obesity among children is at an all-time high, and the problem is worsening. Twenty or 30 years ago, parents had to call their kids in from playing. Now they have to force their kids to go outside and play.
What can we do? As an RBR reader, chances are you have already adopted a healthy lifestyle by exercising and staying active. Set the example for your wife/husband, significant other, kids, friends or co-workers and encourage them to get out and MOVE. It does not take hours of exercise every day to induce positive changes in one’s health and lifestyle.
For a new approach to exercising, give dynamic conditioning a try. It’s a great way to put the fun back into your own exercise program (or to entice a spouse or friend to try something new), and dynamic conditioning will do wonders for your riding as well. So, get out there and exercise — it’s only natural.
Coach Dan Kehlenbach, MS, CSCS, and a USA Cycling Level 3 Coach, is the author of Dynamic Conditioning.