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Bryce Goodfellow
Professor Camille Pack
English 2010 Section 33
Word Count: 1528
Exercise is Worth It
Exercise. It is everywhere today. With specialty gyms and programs found on
every corner. However, we are still a country with more than one-third of our population
in the obese category. That adds up to over 78 million Americans suffering from this
deadly disease (Adult Obesity Facts). How is it that we have a gym on every corner but
so many still suffering? There are many barriers to exercise such as time, boredom, low
confidence, lack of money, and several others. Others express the argument that it is too
risky. They have fear of injury, heart attack, overuse, fatigue, muscle soreness, and other
side effects of exercise. However, with the innumerable benefits, one is much better off
facing those risks and exercising than remaining sedentary.
Exercise benefits the bodies in several ways such as controlling weight,
combating health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, improves
sleeping, and it is fun. If exercise and regular physical activity benefit the body, a
sedentary lifestyle does the opposite, increasing the chances of becoming overweight and
developing a number of chronic diseases. Despite all the good things going for it, only
about 30 percent of adult Americans report they get regular physical activity during their
leisure timeand about 40 percent of Americans say they get no leisure-time physical
activity at all. (The Benefits of Physical Activity). Nearly thirty-five percent of
Americans are obese (>30 BMI). Conditions related to obesity include heart disease,
stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancer deaths, and some of the leading causes of

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preventable death (Adult Obesity Facts). It is difficult to watch such an educated country
that lets our people die from preventable diseases. We have vaccines for things like Polio
and Measles. If only we had a cure for obesity. Well good news, we do! It is called a
healthy diet and regular exercise and physical activity.
A barrier to exercise that is brought up often, especially in these dire economic
times, is that it is too expensive to exercise. It has been found that, the average monthly
cost for a gym membership is $55 (Williams). It isnt difficult to see that this much
money can be difficult for some people to pay for this luxury. However, should it be
considered an extra or a luxury in our lives? Or, should it be considered a necessity for
our lives? We wouldnt stop buying food but we may find a less expensive food. The
same can be said for a gym, as there may be less expensive options in some areas. In all
honesty, we really cant afford to not go to the gym because of how valuable it is to our
lives. According to, Obesity-related medical treatment costs
between $147 and $210 billion a year, or nearly 10 percent of all annual medical
spending (based on 2006 data). The majority of the spending is generated from treating
obesity-related diseases such as diabetes. Of the $147 billion, Medicare and Medicaid are
responsible for $61.8 billion.
Medicare and Medicaid spending
would be 8.5 percent and 11.8
percent lower, respectively, in the
absence of obesity. Obese people
spend 42 percent more on healthcare
costs than healthy weight people. Obesity-related job absenteeism costs $4.3 billion

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annually (Fast Facts: Economic Costs of Obesity). We dont have to pull out our
calculators to see that it would be cheaper overall to have a gym membership than to be
obese. If you are still concerned about the cost, the CDC recommends to, select
activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping
rope, or calisthenics. Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your
community (community education programs, park and recreation programs, worksite
programs, etc.) (Overcoming Barrier to Physical Activity).
Now that we have the gym membership the key is to use it (or have the
motivation to exercise at home). It is time to overcome another said barrier that stands in
our way beyond the cost. A major fear for some is the fear of injury, heart, and lung
problems. Injuries from exercise are commonly shoulder, knee, and ankle injury. It is
important to know proper form and technique to decrease those risks. It can also be
beneficial to work with a personal trainer that can teach you how to warm up, perform,
and cool down properly. As far as heart and
lung issues, this can be more of a sensitive
topic. For some, the feeling of exercise is so
foreign that it can feel as if something is wrong
when in fact that is just your heart pumping and
your heart rate rising. However, there is some
serious risk involved. Examples of these problems include arrhythmias, sudden cardiac
arrest, and heart attack. These events generally happen to people who already have heart
conditions. The risk of heart problems due to physical activity is higher for youth and
young adults who have congenital heart problems. The term congenital means the heart

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problem has been present since birth. (Risks of Physical Activity). The general public
should not be concerned of these, as these are rare. It is important to start slowly to
realize your limitations and abilities before exercising at a vigorous intensity. Also,
Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially
if you haven't exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart
disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns. (Fitness). If you begin an
exercise program and you have symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness you should
also talk with your doctor. (Risks of Physical Activity).
One of the largest barriers to exercising is that people just dont have enough
time. With work and family how is one to also add in time for them and exercise? Well,
the answer is the same way you make time for the other things in your life. You need to
schedule it. If it is on your list it is more likely to get done. Several people save exercise
for if they have time columns on their list. It is important we change our mindset from
exercise being in the way of our lives to exercise giving us
our lives. The CDC suggests to, select activities requiring
minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing.
Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example,
walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical
activity, walk to the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your
destination, etc. Identify available time slots. Monitor your daily activities for one week.
Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical
activity.(Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity). While it may seem like a sacrifice
at first, you will soon find that what you gain out of exercise will filter into every single

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aspect of your life for the better. It is important we take that time for ourselves so we
have more of ourselves to give and for longer.
What is so great about exercise is that it is never too late to start. A study of
more 7,000 men who graduated from Harvard before 1950 suggests that older people,
those who are out of shape, or those with disabilities may get as much benefit from 30
minutes of slower walking or other exercise as
younger, more fit people get from the same amount
of more-intense activity. (The Benefits of Physical
Activity). These benefits, as discussed before can be
anything that your health requires from weight loss
to disease prevention, exercise does it all. It is the
one and only miracle drug next to a balanced diet. The first step is all it takes and giving
it your all from there. if an exercise or physical activity feels hard, then it is probably
doing your heartand the rest of yousome good, even if it doesnt fall into the
moderate category. If you are currently not active at all, it may be daunting to start out
with 30 minutes a day of activity, five days a week. So start with a shorter, less-intense
bout of activity, and gradually increase over time until you can reach or exceed this goal.
This start slow, build up over time advice for physical activity applies to everyone, but
its especially true for older adults, since starting slowly can help lower the risk of
injuryand can make exercise more enjoyable. (The Benefits of Physical Activity).
There are risks and benefits to exercise and it can be scary to face those risks and
unknowns. But, as it is usually found, the things that scare us the most usually end up
doing us the most good. The same goes for exercise. Go out and reap all of the benefits it

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has to offer you. Whether you are lifting weights, jogging, stretching, biking or anything
in between you can find health and happiness for yourself so get out there and try
something new and remember that where there is risk there is a great reward. The next
time you are contemplating beginning an exercise routine again, just say yes. You are
worth it; it is worth it.

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Works Cited

"Adult Obesity Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
"Fast Facts: Economic Costs of Obesity." : The State of Obesity. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
"Fitness." Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
"Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
"Risks of Physical Activity." - NHLBI, NIH. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
"The Benefits of Physical Activity." The Nutrition Source. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Williams, Geoff. "The Heavy Price of Losing Weight - US News." US News RSS. 2 Jan.
2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <>.