Why everyone should exercise


Kevin Mangelschots

Cardiovascular training, and resistance training, are great to keep yourself healthy. Preferably, both should be combined for the best results.

That’s why everyone should exercise, in my opinion. And with everyone, I mean both young and older folks alike.

That’s because exercising has many proven advantages, such as reduced injury risk and decreased risk of cognitive decline.

Why should you exercise?

Someone performing a barbell deadlift in a gym.

Let me explain why everyone should exercise based upon the ancient hunter-gatherer societies.

In hunter-gatherer societies, both males and females needed to have good endurance, be strong, athletic, and flexible to survive the harsh environment we used to live in.

  • Males needed to be strong enough to hunt and kill wild animals

    Often, our ancestors had to climb rocks and hills to hunt and kill animals.

    Then, they had to carry the dead animals back to the camp, requiring a lot of strength and endurance.

    The women had to be strong enough to carry the babies, small children, and baskets full of berries and fruit. All these things require a considerable amount of strength.

  • Males needed to be in good cardiovascular health to hunt and run from prey and threats

    Image of a man who's tired when running a marathon.

    Often, the men needed to climb difficult terrain to hunt prey and to run from threats.

    Women were busy searching around to gather edibles from bushes. Often moving a sizable amount of space each day.

  • Males and females were athletic and in shape from always being on the move and climbing stuff

    They also did movements like squatting when putting things down on the ground, and simulating a deadlift when lifting heavy things from the ground.

    This means that their joints and muscles stayed flexible and strong just due to being on the move and fighting for their survival all the time.

The benefits of exercising

  • Teaches discipline

    Illustration of multiple characteristics of discipline.

    Everyone should exercise because it teaches you the importance of discipline and perseverance.

    Lifting weights and strength training is no easy feat that everyone can accomplish without effort. It takes hard work and determination to go back to the gym after being sore, tired, and, often, having other things you would rather be doing.

    However, by having the patience and delaying the instant gratification (getting stronger and bigger is a slow, long progress, be warned!) you will in the end get rewarded by being healthier, stronger, and bigger.

    This will serve as another valuable life lesson. And that’s because the good things in life typically don’t come easy and take time to develop properly.

  • Resistance training will make you feel better about yourself

    Resistance training can help your well-being in two different ways.

    Mentally, you will feel more confident in the way you look. It will also make you more assured due to knowing you are unafraid to work hard for it with the required patience and vigilance. Due to this, you know what you can, and can not do. These qualities breed true confidence.

    Physically, but also mentally, you will feel better due to your body releasing endorphins. The reason this makes you feel better is that it acts as a natural pain reliever.

    This means that working out can be more helpful for you than just taking pills for stress, anxiety, and pain. Not to mention a lot healthier as well!

  • Being strong and flexible prevents your body from getting injuries

    Running knee pain.

    Another reason why you should exercise is that it can aid you in preventing physical trauma.

    The stronger you are, the more your joints, tendons, and muscles are protected from injuries. That’s because strong muscles and tendons act as “armor” to keep the joints and bones in place.

    Less fit people are often nonathletic in addition to overweight. Since they’re not strong, balanced, and coordinated enough, they’re much more prone to injuries.

  • Regularly participating in endurance-based workouts and strength training has multiple health benefits

    Working out has multiple cardiovascular health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and making you more resilient to heart diseases, among many other things.

    It will make you lose body fat, which is important to reduce the amount of stress being placed on the joints and to keep a normal and balanced sugar level, which could otherwise lead to diabetes.

    Your health needs to keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system in shape. This in turn leads to a reduced risk of getting many debilitating diseases such as diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.

  • Lose body fat

    A woman measuring her waist with a red measure tape.

    Exercising aids to keep your weight in check. It’s no surprise that we tend to gain weight when we’re not physically active. The COVID-19-induced lockdown has made many people painfully aware of this very fact.

    Moving around burns calories. And when we burn more calories than we ingest is when we’re losing weight. It’s that simple.

    Being overweight is a major contributor to many cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes and heart illnesses.

  • Improved mental health

    Exercising releases endorphins. These endorphins are considered our “happiness” hormone that makes us feel better as a result.

    Not just that, the fact that we’re improving our physical fitness, getting more disciplined, and persevering through hardships helps our mental state since we feel like we’re bettering ourselves in our existence.

  • Improves our memory

    Image of the different sorts of memories.

    Exercising improves our memory and protects our brain function when we get older.

    It’s been proven that doing mental gymnastics exercises such as Sudoku does very little to improve or preserve our general memory. All it does is make us a lot better at that specific task, without necessarily making us perform better at other cognitive-related labors.

    But what has been proven to improve memory and preserve our brain capacity is exercising.

    That’s why remaining physically fit by moving around and working out is critical to keep our minds sharp, especially when aging.

  • Makes you sleep better

    Exercising makes you sleep better by reducing sleep onset.

    When exerting ourselves, our body temperature rises. After about thirty to ninety minutes of training, our core temperature starts to decrease again.

    This fall in body temperature aids in causing sleepiness.

Can you be healthy without exercise?

A man reading a magazine in a chair while putting his feet up the bed.

You can’t be healthy without exercising. At least not when you’re physically inactive for a longer period.

Nevertheless, taking regular breaks (rest days) from exercising to let your body recover is advised. That’s because our bodies adapt and get stronger/fitter while resting after receiving an acute stressor. This acute stressor is exercising in this case, which can be weightlifting, walking, running, …

People are made to be physically active. Historically speaking, we’ve always been moving around constantly to hunt, scavenge, and run from predators. Logically, evolution has designed us to be that way.

Being sedentary, and physically inactive, is an unhealthy state that’s not natural for human beings. It’s a large risk factor to develop a walloping variety of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s, in addition to heart and lung diseases.

What happens if you don't exercise?

If you don’t exercise, then your mental and physical health will degrade. Not to mention that you will get less flexible, less strong, less coordinated, and less balanced which increases the injury risk.
Your cardiovascular health will decrease as well because you don’t get enough physical activity and exercise. This can consequently lead to diseases such as type II diabetes, heart illness, and even strokes, just to name a few.

What exercise is more important?

Multiple possible questions being written on a wooden board.
What type of exercise is more important for our health is hard to answer, since every kind has its specific function and all are vital for our survival and general well-being.
A couple of different exercise types are:
  • Cardiovascular training
  • Strength training
  • Balance training
  • Coordination training

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise helps to reduce many metabolic diseases such as cancer, strokes, type II diabetes, and depression.

In short, it’s critical for the health of our organs, and even the brain.

Strength exercise

Strength exercise becomes increasingly indispensable as we get older. That’s because we have less strength to spare when we age.

There’s also the point that a lot of our deaths when we’re elderly come from the fact that we’re not strong enough to move around anymore. And we’ve already established that we can’t be, or remain healthy when we can’t walk and exercise.

A lot of folks also can’t get back up any longer when they fall, contributing to many deaths that could’ve been prevented if they were strong enough due to performing resistance-based training preventively.

Balance exercise

Balance is once again more critical when we’re older. That’s because losing balance, and consequently falling causing them to break a bone making them bedridden is a major death cause of our aged population.

The best thing to prevent this and to train our balance is by remaining active. Simply going for regular walks and remaining independent can already solve this issue by and large since bad balance is mainly caused by inactivity.


All being said and done, there’s no reason why you should not exercise. Whether it’s endurance training, strength training, or any other kind of resistance-based workout.

The benefits, as discussed above, are not trivial and range from mental to physical benefits as well. In my opinion, everyone should be lifting weights or performing other resistance-based workouts. Not only the young but also the elderly, should indulge themselves.

For young people, the goal might be more about getting in shape, while for people of age, it will probably be more about staying healthy and being able to live in their homes independently for as long as possible.

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