|Physical exercise helps you develop and maintain physical fitness,alertness and overall health. It strengthens your muscles, skeletal frame and Cardiovascular system and helps you maintain a healthy weight. |
Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts your Immune System and helps prevent various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, improves mental health and prevents depression.
| Types of exercisesAerobic exercise:
Aerobic exercises, also called Cardiovascular
exercises, improve the health of your heart and lungs. Examples include walking, jogging, running, aerobic dance, bicycling, rowing and swimming. Weight-bearing exercise:
Weight-bearing exercises work against the force of gravity. Weight-bearing exercise is important for building strong muscles and bones. Examples of weight-bearing exercises include walking, jogging, hiking, climbing stairs, dancing and weight training. Weight training:
Weight training or strength training, builds strength and muscles in a specific way. Push-ups, lifting weights, etc. fall into the weight-training exercises category (Specially intended to build the strength of biceps torso and arm muscles)
Getting into the habit
Every individual is made up differently and knowing how much exercise you need can help you develop your own individual exercise regimen.
On an average, exercising 4–6 times a week for about 30–45 minutes is usually a good plan. Since exercise has so many health benefits, any amount of exercise done is better than none at all.
|Talking to your doctor
Your doctor is the best person to advice you regarding the kind of exercise that is best for you depending on your current health condition. This is especially important if you have any health problems or if you are pregnant or elderly.
Fitting exercise into your day
Exercise need not mean pumping those weights at the gym or puffing and panting that 5 km run. Certain day-to-day activities can help you burn off those extra calories.
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Taking a short walk after lunch or dinner.
- Doing housework like gardening, sweeping, floor mopping, etc.
- Parking your vehicle at a distance and walking up to the shopping mall.
- Walking all or part of the way to work.
- Making vigorous movement of body and limbs, now and then, while working.
- Picking up articles from floor by bending and body movement whenever possible.
- Restricting the use of remote controls and intercoms.
|Keeping it going
Begin slowly. If you have not been exercising for years, do not expect to run a marathon after only a week or two of training. Begin with a 10 minute period of light exercise or a brisk walk every day and gradually increase the frequency and intensity.
It is easy to begin exercising but what is really important is consistency. Here are some tips that will help you start and stick with an exercise program:
|Benefits of physical exercise |
|Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, bone diseases, Diabetes and unhealthy body weight and composition. |
|Keeps you flexible and agile. |
|Increases your strength and stamina. |
|Helps relieve stress, anxiety and prevents depression.|
|Promotes sound sleep.|
|Increases your metabolic rate and digestion |
|Choose an exercise that suits you best. For example you may find walking easier than visiting an over crowded gym.|
|Start every workout with a warm-up. This will make your muscles and joints more flexible. Begin with some light stretching exercises and/or brisk walking.|
|Team up with a friend, colleague or family member. This will give you encouragement and mutual company.|
|Do not allow boredom to set in. Vary your exercise routine—walk for day, go swimming the next or play your favourite game.|
|Exercise at a convenient time. Do not go jogging in the rain or in extreme weather.Do not exercise immediately after a meal either.|
|It takes some time for the benefits of exercise to be noticeable—such as weight loss. So do not get discouraged if the benefits are not too visible.|
|If you hurt yourself or have an injury, take a break.Exercising during an injury can worsen your condition and delay the healing process.|
|Stop exercising if you feel very out of breath, dizzy or have pain.||
“Walking is man’s best friend” said Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. The best exercise is the one that you are able to do frequently, regularly and conveniently. Walking is considered one of the best choices because it is easy, safe and inexpensive. Brisk walking can burn as many calories as running or jogging and is less likely to cause injuries. Walking needs no training, can be done anywhere, at anytime and only requires a good pair of shoes. So put on those shoes and keep walking. Moreover, you have to keep a watch on your food intake to reap the fruits of exercise.