As a male in my mid 20's, I have always been very heavily focused on training to gain muscle. Whilst not "every" younger male exercises to gain muscle, it's definitely a prevalent goal within this demographic. There are many reasons for this, some of which include confidence, self-image, self-esteem, vanity, attracting the opposite sex, instinctual evolutionary dominance and just love of weight training!
Within this category of gym go-ers, I honestly feel that the whole aspect of "exercising for health" is overlooked. Building muscle is one thing, but if you haven't got your health...well...you haven't got much at all.
I've been guilty of this myself in the past, particularly in my late teens when I first stepped foot into the gym. I guess it is a part of maturing where you realise that you are mortal and that your health is something to be nurtured, especially as you become older.
But this discussion is not focussed on young males. It could be anyone - from extreme contest preparation, to rapid weight loss or over-exercising for a particular event.
Exercising for health encompasses a whole array of aspects including:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Mental health & brain function
- Muscle development
- Disease prevention
- Injury prevention
- General health & well being
I've just thought of these off the top of my head. I'm sure you could think of a whole bunch of other area's that are positively affected by a well balanced exercise regime.
What I'm getting at is this. It's easy to undermine the importance of your health. But abuse your body and you'll very quickly regret taking your health for granted.