No one argues that exercise is important. We can debate the virtues of cardiovascular exercises and strength training. We can discuss how often a person needs to exercise (some people just have more discipline than others). We can make long lists of all the reasons why exercise is so important for the body, mind, mood and spirit and we would never finish listing all of the reasons why exercise is so important.
But I am going to suggest that there is one exercise that trumps all of the others. It may be the most important exercise that we ever do and have a greater impact on our overall well-being then weightlifting, jogging and yoga combined. In fact, not only is this exercise good for us, it has the potential to change the world!
Does that sound good? If there was one exercise that could do all of that, would you do it? Are you ready to get your workout clothes on and get started on a program today? You already have all of the equipment that you need. Most of what you need is just the recognition that you already have the tools to do it.
What I am talking about is “exercising our influence”. We all know (and sometimes learned the hard way) that there are things in life that we can control and perhaps many more things that are out of our control. But somewhere in the middle lies this vast arena that is filled with matters beyond our control and yet within our influence.
Some people don't vote because they feel that their vote won't matter. It certainly won't if they don't vote and more importantly, they give up their influence over the outcome of the election.
Some people don't exercise because they “have too much weight to lose”. Not exercising is a way of giving up the influence they have over their weight. The same can be said for diet.
It can also be said for money, fundraising, education, relationships and virtually everything that happens in our lives. We may not have control, but we have influence. The only question is are we going to exercise it?
I have multiple sclerosis. Getting multiple sclerosis was not within my control. The disease and the course of the disease is not within my control. But I do have influence over this disease. I can influence the course of the disease with medications, exercise, diet, education, spirituality, a positive attitude and so much more. Will I do all of it? Some of it? That is within my control. That is up to me.
We may not have control over every aspect of our life. But for most of the things that we do not control, we have influence. The only question we have to ask is will we exercise today?
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.