Excercise and Your Life: Just Do It

Sport has always been part of my life; partly because of genetics yet mostly because of the hyperactive friends I made growing up in 1980/90’s New Jersey. As a young kid, I played on our suburban block until dusk and only came in for dinner after my mother unleashed her fiery call: “il pranzo è pronto!”  As a 13 year old I spent my weekends traversing New Jersey and New York in a white Dodge van, running up and down a soccer field dreaming of becoming the next Roberto Biaggio or, if our deeply committed coach Frank was particularly inspirational that day, Diego Maradonna.  By the time I reached high school, I was in love with many sports and split my time as a wannabe Flutie-esque quarterback, a mediocre tennis player, and a way too skinny striker on the soccer team.  My senior year in high school I fell in love and shrugged off the athletic pursuits for romance – dropping the proverbial “ball” turned out to be a godsend as the woman I feel in love eventually became my wife.
I still have urges to run fast and throw an oblong ball down field, but I’m limited to the occasional run on my treadmill and weekly tennis matches.  Sport makes me feel good and along with the physical sensation of moving through the air and hitting good topspin on a forehand, for example, I enjoy the competition and how I feel the next day (namely, a bit tired and sore; there’s something about using your body that makes the primordial brain release lots of good neurotransmitters!).
Are you looking for a few reasons to get back in shape?  Maybe you want to start playing club soccer again or want to train for a 5K race?  Whatever the reason there are some obvious benefits to keeping active, here are six:
1. Mental Sharpness  
Sustained physical activity makes your brain work more efficiently and actually improves neural performance
2. Stress Killer   
Does your work environment resemble a battlefield?  If so, getting in a morning workout will help combat your super aggressive, Patton-like, boss.
3. Waistline Preserver
If you don’t like to eat (and have a nice glass of wine) then you’re not human in my book!   If you pursue sports as a hobby, then you’ll be able to eat well (with the occasional, high fat, splurge) and have your nightly glass of wine without too much guilt or additional weight gain.  And if you’re blessed with the metabolism of a humming bird and thinking, “I don’t need to exercise”, trust me that will most likely change at some point in your life.

4. Money Saver  
Being fit (both physically and mentally) will save you trips to the doctor’s office and your local CVS pharmacy.  Keeping your heart rate, cholesterol level, and blood pressure in line can help you with your bottom line!
5. Better Sleep and, Yes, Sex!  
Consistent exercise can help you fall asleep faster and also provide for a much deeper slumber.  On the improved sex thing, exercise can help with circulation and energy level.
6. Overall Health  
Exercise combats chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain type of cancer (source Mayo Clinic).  Regular exercise can also help combat mental illness such as depression.  


  1. Good post Vin. My present employment arrangement at a high school makes it easier to run every day after school, which I enjoy a lot.

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