Exercise handles just about everything. I would say that well over 95% of the problems people have with their bodies can be traced back to a lack of exercise.
Types of Issues
The most common complaints I have heard from my personal training clients over the years are listed below. There is no way that they could all fit in one article so these are the most common ones.
First, let’s cover Type II diabetes. This is what is known as adult-onset diabetes.
Usually a life of bad eating and little exercise will do it. Diabetes can happen faster in certain cultures where carbohydrates and sugar make up a higher percentage of the diet.
There are several terms here that are good to look up if you or someone close to you is struggling with pre-diabetes or diabetes. They are:
- Blood glucose levels
- Insulin Resistance
- Type I diabetes
- Type II diabetes
Please don’t be insulted by the fact that I’m saying these need to be looked up. Part of my tried and true methods of helping people is getting them to fully understand their bodies. This starts with the structure, the actual particles of food they eat, down to as small as we need to go to understand the process.
Once someone understands why they are eating Item A instead of Item B, they will just do it. There’s no cheerleading or anything needed.
A pre-diabetic is easy to fix. It is a simple change in diet and regular exercise that is appropriate for the individual.
A Type II diabetic can be significantly helped to lower their A1C. Plus they get really, really fit.
A Type I diabetic is another story. I can increase a Type I diabetic’s insulin sensitivity. This doesn’t fix their problem, but it means that they are less dependent on insulin.
And when you have a very fit person – even if they are Type I diabetic – they are still very fit and able to do more than your Average Joe.
Exercise Helps Depression and Anxiety
There are studies that show that exercise helps depression, stress and anxiety.
I sometimes reference these studies and get funny looks. I’m not claiming to move mountains, I’m just referencing studies and going off what I have seen with my own eyeballs.
Exercise actually works for this, too. Don’t listen to me, though. Try for yourself.
Low Energy and Fatigue
Through regularly stressing your body, you increase your body’s ability to create its own energy.
Let’s get really straight here:
There is a reason a sedentary person has low energy. It is because they never force their body to do more than the bare minimum.
By that same logic, you could say that a high energy person is one who regularly forces their body to do more than the bare minimum. This is something I’ve seen happen time and time again. There is no limit to your energy levels so long as you’re willing to push yourself.
If you don’t believe me, try it. There is no explaining it to someone who hasn’t seen it for themselves.
Having trouble sleeping? Try exhausting yourself.
I’ve gone through this a thousand times. Both with myself and with my clients.
The misconception here is that they were “exhausted” when they went to bed. The actual fact was that they had no clue what exhaustion was until they met me, the personal fitness trainer. I showed them what real exhaustion felt like.
And they slept like little babies.
They slept like little babies because they needed the sleep to recover.
Sometimes you need to push yourself a little harder and not go so easy on yourself. In this day’s thinking of “You just need a vacation to take your mind off of things”, I’m over here telling people to do more.
There is a totally backwards way of thinking that we are “stressed” when actually our body hasn’t been “stressed” at all. And for some reason, when you stress the body, the mental stress goes away.
Sleep is meant to be a time when your body recovers. It isn’t party time. It’s only party time to those who spent all day sitting at a desk.
To those who put in a hard day’s work (or those who gave their all at the gym), sleep is a valuable and necessary thing.
There are numerous studies that link higher levels of physical activity to a lower risk of cancer.
I’ve been a fitness trainer for 20+ years. It is impossible for me to say “I’ve seen ___ amount of people not get cancer as a result of exercise.”
Unfortunately, it isn’t a statistic that you can easily measure.
But I can say that people have exercised vigorously under my supervision. And the statistics say what they say. So, statistically speaking, I’ve prevented that much cancer from entering the world.
This includes the exercise I’ve done myself.
Pain – Of All Sorts
Now, let’s be honest. There’s all sorts of pain.
There’s the pain that you feel when you get out of bed. That slow, sluggishness where everything hurts. Then there’s a specific pain like a sharp back pain, or a bad shoulder when you raise it.
For specific pains, I can say that a regular, balanced exercise program can prevent most of them. Depending on how bad they are, you may need to see a physical therapist to get out of pain. But even if you had to have surgery, the way to stay out of pain is to ease the joint back into exercise and to work the muscles thoroughly.
The pain a person feels when they get out of bed – that sluggishness – can be handled (in most cases that I’ve seen) through proper hydration and regular exercise.
My clients report that it is simply easier to pop out of bed. There’s not a barrier of pain and sluggishness. It’s just easy and natural.
I’m not making this stuff up. It is what my clients report to me after getting grooved in. My jaw has dropped at some of the stuff people tell me.
This is the number one cause of death.
I’m not some bleeding heart trying to stop all people from dying. I think the world would be terrifying if no one died. But, the fact that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer is… not logical.
There are several fitness certifications that say a “recommended level of cardiovascular exercise is 30 minutes at a time, three days per week to prevent heart disease.” My jaw drops at this. Other fitness trainers’ jaws drop at this.
It seems like so little to prevent so much.
There will always be something that is the number one cause of death. But just put these two pieces of information together: that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer and 30 minutes of cardio 3 times per week prevents it.
I’m not pitching anything crazy to you. This is just the stuff I read.
Swelling of the Lower Legs
I’ll often see swelling in two types of people: those who stand all day and those who sit all day. The worst is when I come across a person with a desk job who just doesn’t walk around.
This can get so bad that the lower leg starts to turn purple and bruised.
One solution I did with a woman who had lower legs that were literally purple, was to first get in communication with her doctor, and then to put her on a stationary recumbent bike.
This position, combined with the repetitive motion of cycling, helped circulate the fluid trapped in her lower legs. The swelling started to go down. The color started returning to normal.
The woman was over 150+ pounds overweight and was beyond appreciative of the help I gave.
Exercise helps so much and I’ve only listed a few big problems.
I can’t explain how many people with lower back pain I’ve helped. One time there was an orthopedic surgeon that has a shoulder surgery scheduled to repair a torn labrum. After two months with me, he canceled it. I didn’t even know he had it scheduled!
To a personal fitness trainer, there are few actual barriers that can’t be crossed. But there are a few.
We can’t fix lungs after they have been smoked to ashes. We can’t fix skin that has been stretched after hundreds of pounds of excess weight. We can’t fix wrinkles or usual cosmetic stuff.
But otherwise, we really do work miracles.