Now don't misunderstand my metaphor to mean we all have to be sprinters, powerlifters or triathletes! These are sports people do because they enjoy them, they like to test the limits of their bodies. Good health does not dictate these activities but it dictates being at least functionally fit, able to do everyday tasks well. Unfortunately, modern everyday tasks do not usually require what are bodies need given the amount of conveniences we have. So, we have to consciously train our bodies to mimick the movements we were designed to do for a baseline of good general health.
Functional fitness requires functional exercise. Building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions means training the muscles to work together rather than in isolation. This requires you to be standing, most of the time, on your own two feet supporting your own weight...not sitting in a gym machine. These machines have some value but not the amount many give to them.
The kind of movement you choose will shape your body to adapt best to that activity. If you kayak regularly your upper body will adapt by getting stronger and bigger. If you run often enough your body will become lighter, including decreasing all unnecessary muscle mass, so as to run with better ease. The beauty is that you can, and do well to, build the body you want based on your genetics, current capabilities and desires. If you do, it will thank you!
Our bodies are incredible machines built to move and perform various functional activities. In fact, if we don't respect this fact our health will suffer greatly. Our body will communicate this, sending out a warning message that we are neglecting it but we may not make the connection. Instead, it may be interpreted as "aging", genetics or even depression. The truth is, we are always in the drivers seat. We decide the destination along with the speed and direction.
Inactivity will breed it's own consequences. For example, if we had a race car that we rarely drove and when we did never challenged the engine, not only would it never reach it's full potential but the brakes would squeak, carbon would build up on the engine and the steering would rust. How sad!
Wouldn't make for a very fun or enjoyable ride! Well, you ARE a race car!
At least, you are suppose to be!