Hard Bodies and Tight Times
By Martin Brown
Being in good physical condition is important, no matter what your age, and no matter whether the economy is good or bad. Here are six important reasons why you should exercise during an economic slump.
1. Bad economies mean more stress—and a fit body handles stress better.
Whether you’re worried about your bills, your job, your investments, or the problems of family and friends, stress leads to depression. Regular workouts, at least four times a week, activate hormones such as endorphins, giving you more energy. Cardio workouts, yoga, and stretching are the steam valves that safely relieve stress, keeping your anxieties in check.
2. You’ll work harder, and longer. Being in shape gives you the energy to do so.
There’s a good chance that a weak economy means that you’re going to have to work longer hours just to make the same money you made in a good economy. Working harder takes a greater toll on you when you’re out of shape than when you’re fit. Aerobic fitness is particularly important at this time because it builds stamina, making longer hours take a reduced toll on your overall health.
3. Fitness doesn’t have to be expensive, just habitual.
You don’t have to join a gym to get into the best shape of your life, but you do need to get off the couch and start moving. Gyms are great for a lot of people who need a little nudge to exercise: when you see other people doing aerobics, resistance training, and stretching, you tend to get into the swing of things and get going as well. On your own, however, you can get a $10 yoga mat and stretch to your heart’s content, you can lace up a pair of sneakers and start walking your local park, and you can use your body, from push-ups to chin-ups to do resistance training.
4. Working out is living the message, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Toning up your body is an act of affirmation that you are not going to let hard times simply roll over you. When and if this economy knocks you for a loop, being fit means you will be in a much better position to knock back.
5. Staying fit keeps your reduces your health costs.
Whether you’re self-insured and carrying a high insurance deductible, or just trying to stay illness-free so you can work that extra job or those extra hours, being ill is the last thing you need when you’re trying to increase your income and hold down living expenses. Staying fit dramatically decreases your chances of getting colds and other illnesses that keep you from getting your work done.
6. A fit body ensures a fit mind—and a better attitude for beating the recession blues.
Lethargy is no way to prepare for tight times. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Staying fit and active means you’re ready, physically and mentally to meet the challenges of an uncertain future.
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