Is Exercise Necessary If Your Job Involves Physical Labor?

underconstruction1_mic

underconstruction1_micI received an email a few days ago from a reader who asked this very question: “Is exercise necessary if your job Under constructioninvolves physical labor?” I had to think about this question in detail before I came to a conclusion and I decided that it is not as cut and dry as yes or no.
For one thing, it’s important to understand the meaning of the term ‘physical labor’. While construction would be considered the prototypical example, what other jobs fit the criteria? Is it just simply a job that requires you to lift things and be on your feet throughout the day?
If we’re considering a scenario where exercise might not be necessary, I would have to say that the work performed would need to be physically demanding at times and active all the rest of the time. Heavy lifting, pushing, pulling and a lot of walking are a must.
But putting the labor itself aside for a second, the most important part of a healthy lifestyle in any job would be your diet. If you’ve got a good, balanced diet consisting of vegetables, fish, nuts, meats, fruit and other whole foods balanced in the correct caloric proportions, you’ve got the biggest part taken care of. Add onto that a job that requires heavy lifting similar to that of lifting weights at a gym and I would say that you’re doing enough to stay healthy.
Now, to be in peak shape may require exactly that… shaping. I use the word may because it really depends on how strenuous the work is that you are engaging in as well as what your goals are in fitness. So find out what the balance is and adjust accordingly. If you feel that your job keeps you active but doesn’t challenge your muscles enough, supplement with weight lifting while forgetting about the cardio.

 

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