As a web developer, I spend a lot of time at a computer. Not only this, but still being in school, I go home to sit at a table and work on homework.
I remember walking to the mailbox center at my apartment complex and seeing an advertisement for some fitness program and it had an image of a hunched-over skeleton at a computer, with red all along the back , and it advertised that “sitting at your desk all day could be the next biggest health risk.”
I quickly dismissed the thought that I needed to exercise if I sat at a computer for most of the day because I was 21, which is the prime of my life, and I considered myself healthy.
Later into the year, I started developing neck pains, which I thought might be only temporary.
I then started having shoulder problems, at 22, which my soon-scheduled doctor visit informed me it was probably because I was sitting at a disk with horrible posture and didn’t exercise. This surely woke me up.
Today, you can find a lot of research about risks of not exercising, or rather sitting too much.
The Mayo Clinic article, What are the risks of sitting too much?, says, “…too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer,” among other health risks.
WebMD’s slideshow, Why Sitting Too Much Is Bad for Your Health?, has reasons such as: it can shorten your life, increase risk of dementia, increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, and even an increased risk of cancer.
Back then, I started reading these articles, and like many people reading WebMD, started getting very worried.
I obviously needed to change things in my life if I wanted to live a long and healthy one.
I started exercising, but not heavily, just enough to make my body feel better.
I did some shoulder exercises, ran a mile, did back-strengthening workouts and a lot of stretching.
It wasn’t a lot of work, sometimes I wouldn’t even break a sweat because I would only stretch and do some light back and shoulder exercises.
However, I started feeling happier, healthier, and my pains started to go away.
It wasn’t right away of course, but the more I kept with my workouts here-and-there, the better and better I felt.
Fitness isn’t necessarily pushing yourself to look a certain way, but is more about being healthy and improving your day-to-day life.
There’s thousands of articles about people exercising and feeling the best they’ve felt in years and it’s because it is true.
Staying fit has improved my life ten-fold. The importance of exercise should be more prevalent today, because I never thought I’d have my back ache at 22; I’m too young for that!
Fitness has fixed my shoulder aches, it’s fixed my neck pain, and it’s overall made my attitude better. It’s not all about looks, it’s about feeling good and being happy.