Health Unlimited Family Fitness & Aquatic Center

Dan HeadshotAsk the Fitness Pro

Twice a month Health Unlimited General Manager and Owner, Dan Strayton, writes the “Ask The Fitness Pro” column for the Mount Airy Messenger.

Check out his most recent column below and if you have a question for the “fitness Pro” please email him at DANS@MYHEALTHUNLIMITED.COM

President Trump’s “Energy” Plan
Printed August 2, 2017

Apparently, President Trump has been quoted as saying he stopped exercising or playing sports because he feels that the body is “like a battery” and has only a finite amount of energy and he doesn’t want to use up all of his with too much exercise or physical activity. That is an interesting view of exercise and probably one that more than a few people share with the President. For those of us who have studied exercise, worked in the fitness field and/or participated in exercise for many years, this view of exercise is “fake news” but it’s a story we can use to help educate others about the many benefits of regular physical activity.

The human body is, indeed, like a battery but it is a re-chargeable battery. Unless we are taking it to extremes, regular exercise does not deplete our battery, it re-charges it. How many times have you heard someone talk about how much more energy they have when they exercise? How many times have you felt the same thing yourself? It’s what I have always called the “oxymoron” of exercise – the more we expend energy, the more energy we have and the better we feel as a result. We may sometimes get a little tired in the short-term but we are rejuvenated in the long-term.

Like a battery plugged into a game and left to sit on a shelf, we deplete our energy over time the more that we sit and sit and sit. That battery in the game on the shelf is draining down whether you play the game or not. The same thing happens to you when you sit idle for most of your life – your energy is draining away and “resting” some more will not bring it back but exercise will. Getting up and moving, engaging your muscles, pumping your heart and getting the blood to course through your veins, energizes you, wakes you up and gives you the energy to keep going, and going, and going (like the Energizer Bunny).

Many years ago, people used to say something similar about heart beats – your heart only has so many beats in it so don’t “waste” any with exercise. The truth is that the more aerobic exercise we get, the lower our resting heart rates go and the fewer beats our hearts will beat throughout life. If you want to protect and conserve that pump, you need to pump it. A car that sits idle in the garage for years does not run better when you finally take it on the road. Machinery left to rust, unattended and unused does not function better when finally fired up again. Your body is a machine meant to move, it needs to move and you are far better off maintaining it through regular usage than through rest and inactivity.

As an old saying goes – you want to “wear out, don’t rust out”. Charge your batteries and keep your “machine” functioning at its best with regular exercise. If we want to Make America Great Again, the best energy plan will include regular physical activity and plenty of it. Good luck and keep moving!