Exercise for Health: Introduction

We all know that being physically active is important for our health. You’ve heard all the benefits before – REDUCE risk of early death, LOSE WEIGHT, INCREASE ENERGY LEVELS, etc etc etc… But, having heard these messages again and again, have YOU increased your activity levels? Have you done anything about it? If you haven’t – I can reassure you that you are not alone. 


Knowledge is a powerful thing, but without informed action, what is the benefit of having that knowledge? Informing yourself is certainly a useful step in a quest to better health, but, in the words of Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver): 


“A word about gnosis, it ain’t gonna but the groceries” – I.e., Knowledge is great, but simply knowing something isn’t enough. 


So please do inform yourself, but once you’ve gathered enough information, TAKE ACTION to reap the rewards of that knowledge. 


In this blog series, I will try my best to inform you in an interesting and engaging way. As well as that, you will receive practical, actionable steps along the way to help you to make a real difference to YOUR HEALTH. 


Over the course of this ‘Exercise for Health’ series, we are going to explore some interesting ideas and ask the questions;  


  • Why is exercise even healthy in the first place? (Why can’t I lounge around all day long and be healthy?) 
  • Why am I so lazy? (And why being lazy helped our ancestors to survive) 
  • What amazing things happen within our bodies when we exercise? 
  • How much exercise do we really need? And what types? 

With all that considered, we will then offer some practical tips – so that you can take REAL ACTION to become more active and improve your health.



Who I am and why I do what I do

To kick off this series, I want to present myself and what has inspired me to write about this topic.  
Paul is my name. I’m an Irish man currently aged 31. I grew up outside a town in County Wexford and went on to study Physiotherapy at the University of Limerick, Ireland. 
Through my time studying and working in physiotherapy, I quickly realised how important exercise is, not only for athletes, but for anybody who wishes to lead a healthy life.  
I have learned that those who are more active are less likely to develop chronic pain and, even if they develop pain, are less likely to suffer as much as those who are unfit. I discovered that fit people are less likely to develop chronic health issues, and that exercise is a key tool in managing chronic conditions. Mental health is also closely tied to physical health – with exercise having immediate as well as long-term benefits to how we feel.  
(That said, active people also suffer from pain, health problems and low mood. And many who aren’t all that active are healthy. Exercise is certainly not the only factor affecting health and well-being). 
As a physiotherapist, I was trained to figure out what is causing a person’s physical ailments – pain, stiffness, reduced mobility, etc. – and how to help them overcome their problems. 
Looking at my role as a physiotherapist as a whole, what I hope to achieve in my profession is to help people: 
…to lead the life that they want to lead 
…with minimal suffering 
…and maximal engagement in activities that are meaningful to them 
Now, many people suffer from things that, as a physiotherapist, I am not qualified to deal with – life is multi-dimensional, complex and diverse. Helping people to become active is one part of the complex and beautiful picture of health. While fitness does not stand alone, it is a key part of overall health. Let’s explore this further. To do this, in my next blog post, we will take a trip back in time to pay a visit to our ancestors… 

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