Exercise – Five Motivational Tools
Exercising itself acts as a energy booster. In most cases, the actual exercise routine is not the difficult part. What does create a problem is the motivation and discipline to keep it up on a regular basis. And most of us are guilty of looking for an excuse to avoid it. You may find the suggestions below helpful in overcoming those usually lame excuses. If so, the all-round benefits of maintaining a regular routine will be well rewarded. We are referring to any sporting or physical activity that is safe, fun and best suits possibility of keeping it up on a regular basis. You can either take the small step required to decide here and now to get started on a few motivational disciplines, which in turn will be a giant step for your overall health, fitness and energy levels. OR you can take the staged process. First we go through a process from not thinking about changing a behavior, to thinking about it, to planning to change and then testing out ways to do it, all before we actually start.
Whichever fits to your needs, these are five tips for fitness motivation.
- Make exercise a priority. Just like brushing your teeth or going to work, move exercise to the top of your “to-do” list. Once it becomes a habit, getting it to the top of the list will be a piece of cake.
- Set goals. Setting short- and long-term goals are extremely important when beginning or continuing an exercise / activity regimen. Start with a weekly, short-term goal. Try goals like exercising three days a week for a total of 30 - 45 minutes per session. If you need to reward yourself for meeting each goal, include it. Tasks are almost always easier to accomplish when there is something to look forward to in the end.
- Make a specific plan. Set up the specific times on the 3 days which will be most convenient taking all factors in to consideration – travel time, peak hour at the club or on the road etc. Work the rest of your schedule around these new obligations to yourself.
- Link up with a training partner. If you are finding the exercise sessions boring, lonely, lacking in motivation or competition, too repetitive or lack of supervision, working out with a partner can be a great solution. Just the obligation produced by having to keep the date will benefit both sides and keep you on track with your planned workout schedules.
- An enthusiastic fitness trainer. They are there for your benefit. They should be monitoring your progress and making regular changes to your program. They should know what’s best for your body and how best to achieve your aims.
Let's Do It!
Strong, healthy men and women worked hard to build the good life in many countries over the past century, and now that good life works against us.
Is there another vital missing element to health & fitness besides lack of manual activity and exercise?
First and foremost is the understanding of how important it is to CHEW every mouthful of food extremely well. This first part of the Digestive Process is the key element in avoiding and / or remedying so many illnesses and ailments. As such it can act as a strong safeguard against many diseases and ailments whilst developing greater energy levels in general.
In order to obtain the best, safest and quickest results from any activity or exercise program, this first stage of the Digestive Process must be understood and put in to place. It is easy to do and the positive effects will be encouraging and rewarding in all aspects of life.
Bad foods require less chewing because they are usually loaded with fats and preservatives that cause so much harm starting with negative effects on gums and teeth.
What can be the reason for lack of Activity and Exercise in modern times?
At the end of the 1800’s, workers provided well over 30% of industry’s energy inputs in the form of muscle power. Today, technology provides all but less than ½ of 1 percent. In a relatively short period of time, machines have taken over the strenuous physical work which the human body has been adapting to for thousands of years. We have created an efficient industrial society at the expense of our personal health, and it is costing us dearly.
The costs of the sedentary life
Each year, heart attacks kill over 500,000 American men and women – many of them in the prime of their working lives.
Hundreds of thousands more suffer crippling heart attacks that bring suffering to their families, and interrupt what should be their normally productive lives.
American industry loses more than 132 million workdays due to premature deaths, at an annual cost of over $25 billion.
Back pain, usually a consequence of neglected muscles and poor posture, afflicts about 75 million men and women, and costs employers over $1 billion in lost output, and $250 million plus in Workmen’s Compensation.
Costs of health care services have risen from $27 billion 20 years ago, to more than $230 billion today. And those costs are climbing fast.
What can be done about it?
Hundreds of corporations world-wide have begun to deal with the problem by protecting their employees through physical fitness facilities and programs. Industry leaders are saving lives and money by putting fitness back into the work force.
Virtually all the large and many medium-size companies have understood that physically-fit employees are worth the investment. And in addition it has had a positive effect in attracting staff. In many cases it is a standard requirement by prospective job applicants.
Their programs and facilities vary widely, but their strategy is basically the same: Organized company fitness programs contribute to healthy employees and a healthy Bottom Line.
So does Good Health promote Good Business?
Numerous research studies over the years have proven that physically-fit workers and managers are less often ill, miss fewer workdays, and have fewer accidents. They are also more productive, because, when the body is in shape, the mind is more alert, morale is higher, it stimulates better relationships and job performance improves.
Documented research in Canada and Russia, where fitness has a high priority, indicates that active, healthy workers produce more at less cost. Individual productivity increases have been as high as 31 percent. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce absenteeism by 3 to 5 days per person, per year.
What about the Costs of Setting Up and Operating these facilities?
Many business leaders are relying on common sense and careful observation of current trends to justify the relatively small investment required to affect better employee health.
A recent survey of American corporations which have established fitness programs, shows that 44 percent of the companies find that the benefits “… substantially out way the costs.”
Productivity is an important side-effect of fitness, because even a modest gain in worker productivity can result in a dramatic increase in the employer’s return on investment.
An important side benefit is the improvement in social behavior. The inter-departmental cohesion between workers with management and visa-versa has been an added bonus.
Has Staff retention improved?
Employee turnover among employees who participated in a company fitness program was reduced from 15 percent to 1.5 percent according to a Canadian experiment. Lower turnover reduces the cost of doing business in any industry. One major insurance company estimates that the cost of hiring and training clerical personnel averages $4,000 per employee, and $8,500 per employee for management personnel, for an average of $6,250 savings for every employee who stays with the fitness program, and stays with the company.
Whatever the nature of your business, your employees represent one of your major resources.They operate the machines, they control the quality of your product or service, they make the plans, and they represent you to your customers.An investment in better health for the workers is an investment in the company’s future.
(A + 10%)
Increase in Efficiency 10%
Net Hours Worked(per year)19201920
A = ($32 X 1152 hrs.)
A + 10 = ($32 X 1267 hrs)
Minus Employee Costs$33,28$33,280
Return on Investment
(Profit divided by $33,280 = ROI)10.8%21.8%
Productivity Gains Mean Higher ROI
Even a small 10% gain in employee productivity could mean substantial increases in “Return-On-Investment” for that person.
In the example, the hypothetical employee was assigned an initial 60% efficiency level.After a productivity increase of 10% the person worked at a 66% efficiency level.Other factors were:
• Employee’s cost to the company ($33,280) included fixed charges – rent, heat, depreciation, etc., plus all variable charges – direct and indirect labor, insurances, taxes, repairs, direct supplies and overhead, including administrative and sales costs.
• Net hours worked for the year were figured with a 40-hour week, less 160 hours for vacation and paid holidays per year (2080 hrs. – 160 hrs. = 1920 hrs.)
The human body is a machine and as such is designed for action, not rest. Nature has provided us with a complex muscular system and a highly efficient cardiovascular engine to make that system work. A sedentary lifestyle challenges neither the muscles nor the cardiovascular system. Without regular exercise, both systems deteriorate, causing the possible onset of degenerative illnesses, injuries and premature death.
Aerobic Conditioning and Muscle Training – a Natural Combination.
The heart and lungs deliver oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, and return waste-laden blood for purifying in the lungs.The body’s ability to do this is referred to as its “aerobic capacity.”As long as there is enough physical activity to demand large amounts of oxygen and blood, the cardiovascular system maintains its health and good working order.
Circuit weight training, in combination with aerobic exercises such as running, jogging, jumping rope or working out on an exercise bike is a proven method for improving heart/lung performance, and increasing the body’s strength, endurance and flexibility at the same time. It is also a time-saver for the busy pressured users looking for a program of minimum time but maximum benefit.
The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease in the USA
Statistics as at 2006 – Population of approximately 300 Million
• Over 162 million cases of seven common chronic diseases — cancers, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, mental disorders, and pulmonary conditions — were reported in The United States in 2003. These conditions shorten lives, reduce quality of life, and create a considerable burden for caregivers.
• Lost Productivity - 79%
• Treatment Expenditures - 21%
• Treatment Expenditures - $277
• Lost Productivity: $1,047
• Total Costs: $1,324
The Economic Impact in the United States in 2003 (Annual Costs in Billions):
From: DeVol, Ross, and Armen Bedroussian, An Unhealthy America:
The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease, Milken Institute, October 2007.
Report prepared with support from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Report available at www.milkeninstitute.org
Figures may not be exact due to rounding off.
• Cancers: 10,555,000 (3.7%)
• Diabetes: 13,729,000 (4.9%)
• Heart Disease: 19,145,000 (6.8%)
• Hypertension: 36,761,000 (13.0%)
• Stroke: 2,425,000 (0.9%)
• Mental Disorders: 30,338,000(10.7%)
• Pulmonary Conditions: 49,206,000 (17.4%)
• The above excludes many untreated and undiagnosed cases.
Reported Cases in The United States, 2003 (and as %age of population*)
And while the human cost is enormous, the economic cost also is great.
The cost of treating these conditions — without even taking into consideration the many secondary health problems they cause — totaled $277 billion in 2003. These conditions also reduce productivity at the workplace, as ill employees and their caregivers are often forced either to miss work days (absenteeism) or to show up but not perform well(presenteeism).
The impact of lost workdays and lower employee productivity resulted in an annual economic loss in the United States of over $1 trillion in 2003.
Two Paths, Two Choices—Chronic Disease in the United States TOMORROW.
On the current path, The United States will experience a dramatic increase in chronic disease in the next 20 years. But there is an alternative path. By making reasonable improvements in preventing and managing chronic disease, one can avoid 40.2 million cases of chronic conditions in 2023.
Reasonable improvements in preventing and managing chronic disease could reduce future economic costs of disease in the United States sharply:
• by 27% ($1.1 trillion) in 2023. $905 billion of this would come from gains in productivity, and $218 billion would come from reduced treatment spending.
Avoidable Costs in 2023 (Billions):
The impact on economic output compounds over time.
• These improvements in health will increase investments in human and physical capital, driving additional economic growth a generation from now. By 2050, reasonable disease prevention and management efforts could add $5.7 trillion to the nation’s economic output, a boost of 18%.
Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion
Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and digestive system disorders – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.
Chronic Diseases are the Leading Causes of Death and Disability in the U.S. where 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.
1. In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.
2. Obesity has become a major health concern. 1 in every 3 adults is obese.
3. Almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).
4. About one quarter of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
5. Arthritis is the most common cause of disability, with nearly 19 million Americans reporting activity limitations.
6. Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-extremity amputations, and blindness among adults, aged 20-74.
7. Four Common Causes of Chronic Disease and Four modifiable health risk behaviors—
• lack of physical activity,
• poor nutrition
• tobacco use, and
• excessive alcohol consumption
are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases.
More than one-third of all adults do not meet recommendations for aerobic physical activity based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and 23% report no leisure-time physical activity at all in the preceding month.
8. In 2007, less than 22% of high school students and only 24% of adults reported eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
9. More than 43 million American adults (approximately 1 in 5) smoke.
10. In 2007, 20% of high school students in the United States were current cigarette smokers.
11. About 30% of adult current drinkers report binge drinking (consuming 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women, 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men) in the past 30 days.
12. Nearly 45% of high school students report consuming alcohol in the past 30 days, and over 60% of those who drink report binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on an occasion) within the past 30 days.
13. In excess of 40% are in a continuous state of Dehydration – they are simply not drinking sufficient Water in a day.
Earlier this week the fitness industry’s cause was validated once again with the release of report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), stating that obesity will eventually bankrupt the U.S., unless policies to address it are enacted. The BPC’s report called on Congress to enact laws that encourage primary prevention.
In its report, "Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future," the Bipartisan Policy Center calls on Congress to enact policies to curb obesity, including educating medical professionals on the benefits of prescribing exercise and proper nutrition.
According to the report, if the U.S. succeeds in stabilizing obesity rates at 2010 levels, the nation would save nearly $550 billion over the next two decades.
We Americans are a very overweight and unhealthy nation and as a nation we spend $2.6 trillion on healthcare (annually). Those costs are the primary driver of our nations' debt," said Dan Glickman, to Healthcare Finance News. Glickman is co-chair of the BPC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative. He added that the current level of healthcare spending will "bankrupt our country."
"Some issues are just too important to be partisan and this is clearly one of those issues. We must all take action to beat this threat," Glickman continued. "This is an issue that has cried out for simple solutions in every respect. It's complicated, but it's not so complicated that we can't find ways to deal with it."
New Report Analyzes State Obesity Rates
Coincidentally, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s report comes alongside Trust for America’s Health’s (TFAH) analysis of state obesity rates and rankings. The analysis found that the 12 most obese states all had obesity rates over 30%. The most obese state was Mississippi (34.9%), Colorado (20.7%) the least.
“Obesity has contributed to a stunning rise in chronic disease rates and health care costs. It is one of the biggest health crises the country has ever faced,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director, in a statement. “The good news is that we have a growing body of evidence and approaches that we know can help reduce obesity, improve nutrition and increase physical activity based on making healthier choices easier for Americans. The bad news is we’re not investing anywhere near what we need to in order to bend the obesity curve and see the returns in terms of health and savings.”
Later this summer, TFAH will release the 2012 edition of F as in Fat, the annual report that analyzes state obesity rates and policy efforts to address the epidemic, and provides policy recommendations. For the first time, the 2012 report will include a study that forecasts 2030 obesity rates in each state and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs.
“Our nation has made important inroads to creating healthier communities,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO. “Some cities and states that have taken comprehensive action to address the epidemic are beginning to see declines in their obesity rates. But we need to expand and intensify our efforts. Investing in prevention today will mean a healthier tomorrow for our children.”
My response: What's New? It is the same old story for the last 50 plus years. Yes, Exercise and activity are extremely important but they are not the crux or source of the problem.
First and foremost is the need to provide the Human Body with its essential requirements. Amongst the most critical are those actions which the Body cannot provide such as consuming enough WATER daily, smaller mouthfuls of food and using all the tools provided (teeth, tongue, cheeks, saliva and enzymes) to chew (masticate) each mouthful to the extreme.
Everyone involved in any way with the Human Body & Physiology is fully aware of these needs but they are not taught, emphasized or publisized in any way whatsoever. My website deals with these issues in depth for the benefit of all age groups - www.meandmybody.com