We've all heard many reasons to exercise, but this Moment of Science tells us about another good reason to hit the gym.
Every year, about a quarter of a million Americans die prematurely from conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. While medication is great for stabilizing existing conditions, it doesn't solve the underlying problems.
We all know that exercising is good for you, but scientist now suggest that exercise is even more than that. The theory is that humans are genetically programmed by evolution to be physically active. After all, our ancestors spent millions of years hunting and gathering and only the last few thousand years as cultivators. Today, when we think of the average person, we think of someone who doesn't exercise. These scientists are saying that the biological norm is a person who is very active.
So instead of saying that exercising decreases your risk for certain health problems, it's more correct to say that not exercising increases your risk for those problems. Your body expects you to exercise, and when you don't, your body is more likely to break down. So when you do nothing, you're actually making things worse.