One story that seems to have become a mainstay in the 21st century is that exercise is critical for good health. But many people still aren’t convinced of the benefits of exercise to their health, and so, simply don’t exercise. Some others know about the benefits but still aren’t willing to start exercising. This may be because they don’t know of the several health conditions that may be caused by not exercising.
It doesn’t matter which category you fall into; this article will do you a lot of good, as we will examine how exercise affects our health and measures to take for regular exercise.
Exercise and your health
Regular exercise will not only offer a lot of health benefits but also lower the chances of having several health conditions. Age is not a barrier or excuse when it comes to exercise, as everyone can find an appropriate one and benefit from it. The implication of this, therefore, is that children and older adults are not excluded from regular exercise. If anything, they should exercise more because their body’s immune system is not very strong, and they are at risk of many health conditions. Some of the health benefits of exercise are:
1. Improving muscular fitness
Weight training helps to keep the muscles active and strong, which is important in preventing injuries and improving performance.
2. Improving bone health
Exercise not only helps to build stronger bones, but it also helps to maintain them. The function of bones usually reduce as one age, and exercise helps retard the rate of reduction in function. This means the bones can remain strong for long, which will go a long way in preventing fractures, falls, and osteoporosis.
3. Lowering the risk of several heart conditions
Heart conditions like coronary heart disease, stroke, and hypertension have all been linked to little physical activity. Regular exercise will help keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of having these cardiovascular issues. It can also increase the levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and reduce that of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
4. Reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes
In the UK today, it is estimated that close to 3.5 million people have diabetes, and 90% of those cases are Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes because obesity is one of the chief risk-factors of diabetes, and exercise can help prevent obesity not only in preventing it now, though, as people that already have the condition can also exercise to keep the glucose levels in the body in check.
5. Lowering the risk of cancers
The risk of developing some cancers, like breast and colon cancers, is lower if a person is physically active. The chances of developing womb cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are also lower in physically active people. The same applies to lung cancer. Obesity can also increase the risk of cancer and regular exercise can help fight obesity,
6. Proper weight management
One of the commonest reason people exercise is to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise will lower the risk of becoming overweight or obese. Obesity is heavily implicated in many health conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, and some cancers. The best way to go about this is not waiting until you are overweight or close to being overweight before becoming physically active.
7. Improves mental health and mood
Regular exercise not only maintains physical health, but it also maintains mental health. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of many mental conditions, like dementia, depression, and anxiety. It can also help to treat some of these conditions after having them. Regular exercise can help to relieve stress, and this causes an improvement in the general mood, which usually indicates good mental health.
8. Improves overall wellbeing
The cumulative effects of all of the benefits of exercising mentioned above lead to better overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Tips for regular exercise
One question I always hear people ask is ‘what counts as sufficient exercise?’ The NHS recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week for adults. The next question, then, is ‘what counts as moderate or vigorous activity?’
Moderate physical activity will increase heart rate, breathing rate, and make the body warmer. A rule of thumb to tell if your exercise falls under moderate is if you can talk but not sing. Examples are brisk walking, dancing, hiking, biking, and swimming.
Vigorous physical activity will also increase breathing and heart rate but to a greater degree than moderate physical activity. One way to know whether the exercise is vigorous is if you find it hard to say more than a few words without catching your breath. Examples are running or jogging, fast swimming, martial arts, gymnastics, sports, like football, hockey, etc.
For more information, visit: