The way we live has changed drastically by way of humans, being physically less active compared to centuries or decades ago. Technology has not helped neither with most things and ways to do things being automated (lift, remote controls etc). The most prevalent status of our health are related to our lifestyles. And to help with this prevalent status is physical activity.
Physical activity should be part of our daily and weekly routine. It is as essential as the air we breathe. Yes! It’s that important.
Physical activity is good for many parts of your body. This article focuses on the benefits of physical activity and how to get started, staying active, and discusses physical activity as part of a lifestyle.
Exercise is a type of physical activity that is planned and structured-Lifting weights, taking an aerobics class, work out at the gym and playing sports, the list is endless.
Incorporating exercise as a routine can be overwhelming and the misconception that exercise has to be in a certain way, it has to hurt and you have to do lots of it to reap the reward are all a misconception.
Exercise is about enjoying a physically active and making it a lifestyle (e.g. walking to the grocery shop rather than driving) that includes increasing your heart rate (such as brisk walking) a few times a week.
Regular Exercise can improve your mood, boost your ability to fend off infection, and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancer. Hundreds of studies conducted over the past 50 years demonstrate that exercise helps you feel better and live longer.
One of the main reasons for not exercising is not knowing where or how to start:
How to Start Exercising
- Follow a pattern: warm up, stretch, aerobic exercise, cool down and stretch.
- Exercising for a short time 10 to 15mins three days a week with a bit of intensity.
- Gradually increase the length of time you exercise; then go on to increase the intensity; increase your exercise time by five to ten minute.
Choose your Exercise
Remove as many hurdles to exercising as possible, so choose an exercise which:
- You enjoy.
- Is convenient.
- Is affordable and,
- You can incorporate into your lifestyle.
Don’t be tempted to take up an exercise which you think will be good for you rather than one which you think is fun- it is likely to become a chore and you won’t stick at it. Our busy lifestyle schedule could be a constraint, so try to choose one which is convenient, e.g. walking, jogging or cycling round your environs; choose an activity you can do on the way back from work , it’s never too late to learn a new skill (squash, tennis, boxing , dance aerobics, gym). If you have children, try taking up an activity which you can enjoy as a family, e.g. football, swimming or cycling.
Like me, you may not know which activity (or activities) will suit you, so take the time to try a few. You may find that you prefer to vary your activities because you either find just one form of exercise boring or different activities on different days fits in with your lifestyle better (e.g. Zumba classes or walking at lunch breaks/after work). Balance out your outdoor exercises with indoor exercises because of change in weather. If you have chosen an outdoor activity, find an indoor activity for bad weather days.
Think of exercise as essential to your well-being. As part of your lifestyle, you do it whether you feel like it or not.
If you regard exercise as something to be done when you feel like it, you may not exercise regularly not reaping the benefits, hence motivation is lost. So sleep it, dream it, work it and enjoy it.