Celebrating National Exercise Day

Celebrating National Exercise Day

April 17, 2024

By Missy Stidham

“The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.” The word “workout” can sometimes be a turn-off or a negative association with something people don’t want to do or become too busy to do. So, let’s define why this became an emphasis to have a day created for awareness and how exercise started as the tasks that were a part of everyday life.

What is National Exercise Day? In the 1980s this day was created as part of a campaign to improve health and fitness in the US. Let’s take a look back at what landmarks set the tone for the importance of exercise previous to this day.

people in workout class

  • 1950s President Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness to promote physical activity among young people
  • 1953 Dr. Jerry Morris conducted the 1st significant evidence-based study linking lack of exercise to heart disease
  • 1972 Title IX and Women’s Exercise paved the way for gender equity in sports and allowed women to have increased participation and visibility in exercise
  • 1996 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health started the clear evidence of the health benefits of regular exercise
  • 2003 Pedometers popularized walking with accessible awareness of how many steps taken and simple form of exercise with walking
  • 2019 COVID-19 and Home workouts gaining the need to have a way to get exercise during lockdown measures.

Taking it back further, did you know the earliest type of exercise documented is yoga? In ancient civilizations including the Greeks and Romans, it was known that exercise was a means of survival. No matter how far back we date, the exercise we know links back to heart health and the reduction of other diseases that are tied to moving our body in some sort of exercise. History dates back as part of everyday activities to hunt and gather food and supplies for survival rather than gyms or workout centers to get exercise. Nowadays, we must be intentional about what we do to get exercise. Sedentary, indoor lifestyles for most Americans with technology and transportation take over natural exercise.

Let’s also define, “what is exercise?” According to the Oxford Dictionary this word means, activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.

Whether you are doing cardio, strength, mind-body, or HIIT training, exercise is stressing the body. The importance of working the muscles to grow to protect as we age is not any new news, but the bio-hacking of how to become bigger, stronger, leaner, and faster is more than ever. There is no secret pill to escape the need for everyone to get good old-fashioned exercise. It is so confusing from fad diets, podcasts, and any fitness search to identify “how much exercise do I need?”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical exercise and two days of strength training. These recommendations are based all off studies that prove lower risks of non-cardiovascular disease mortality. National Exercise Day is to encourage physical exercise and well-being as we know that regular exercise is a cornerstone for maintaining good health. You can do a lot with a little exercise and too much can be a bad thing. So, just focus on moving, having fun, and gain the benefits of doing it with others who are like-minded!

person with personal trainer

Use the intentional knowledge and need for ways to live a healthier and happier life with these top five group fitness classes with Crunch and know our purpose at Crunch is to always encourage people to live healthier, more active lives!

  1. Top 10×10– Get 500 reps of Cardio, Sculpting, and Core in 30 minutes by using Heavy and Light Weights, Bands, and your total body for this effective and fun workout! Best because you can go at your own pace to get your reps!
  2. B30 Body– A total body workout in 45 minutes where you can challenge your strength in Upper and Lower body exercises with barbells and plates along with stabilizing your core in core exercises and challenging your cardiovascular in Cardio drills all in one workout! Leave nothing behind but sweat and keep your stamina and muscles for serious results!
  3. Float Flow in Motion– A one-of-a-kind lengthening and strengthening with Slastix to suspend your body and fly away with Yoga and Pilates techniques for a longer and leaner body. The results of stretching will be taken to new heights by the use of Slastix which you won’t find in other classes!
  4. RIDE– Let the Beat Drop-Use the rhythm of the music to power in a result-driven RIDE that feels like you are in the CLUB in our RIDE studios! Your heart rate will be pumping and the music will be bumping in this energetic class to help you receive the results you deserve!
  5. Fight Camp– What happens in Fight Club does NOT just stay here! Use your body and mind to get an effective workout in this fun hitting and cardio and core bursts to make you feel strong and ready for anything life throws at you!

Use the motivation and inspiration of doing exercise on this day – and taking it a step further, use the history and purpose of exercise in your everyday routine. There’s no better time than the spring to take on something new and fresh indoors at Crunch or soak in some Vitamin D outside to destress and feel alive. Moving the body gives vitality, rhythmic movement, and breath and puts our body in motion, which it was created to do. Take a breath, move your body, and set your plan to do what your body was intended to do! Happy National Exercise Day!

people in cardio class

I leave you with another 5 reasons why exercise can benefit you:

  1. Improving Brain Health – by stimulating memory function to release a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
  2. Improving Quality of Sleep – It can help you fall asleep and have a deeper sleep.
  3. Walking can be as effective as running – don’t think you have to run to get your heart rate and calorie burn to be effective speed walking or fast, brisk walking on a habitual basis can be just as effective for your health
  4. Improve Gut Health – Movement helps your gut keep moving! Physical activity can increase the diversity and number of beneficial microbes in the gut making an overall healthier gut and overall health!
  5. Mood improvement and cognitive functioning – Exercise provides positive effects on emotional well-being and can increase self-esteem and confidence and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So, remember, “The greatest wealth is health” one you can’t buy and does not come overnight so get excited to move and groove and stay active for a longer, happier life!

Missy Stidham is a Senior Director of Group Fitness, Undefeated Tribe of Greater Austin.

Crunch promotes a culture of positivity, inclusivity, and fun with no judgments by providing an environment for all individuals regardless of their health and fitness goals. Find a Crunch gym near you to try our free trial membership, or join Crunch now.

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