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The Importance of Exercise in our Lives

Adriel is a fitness enthusiast. He enjoys eating healthy foods and working out.

Woman exercising

Woman exercising

Exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Urbanization and the proliferation of technology has spawned a sedentary culture. People work several hours in a day or even work two or more jobs to earn a living.

Little attention is paid to exercise in our current fast paced world. People do not have the time or energy left at the end of a workday to engage in exercise.

Most people also have the misconceptions about exercise. Most women have a misconception that lifting weights will make them muscular. Some people think that you have to go to the gym in order to get fit. Others think that only athletes and sports people need to exercise.

There are numerous benefits of exercising regularly.

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise has numerous benefits, they include:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • The reduction of the risk associated with diseases such as diabetes.
  • Building strong muscles, joints and bones.
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Creating a sense of well being
  • Warding off depression and anxiety.
  • Improving mental focus.
Man exercising

Man exercising

Maintain an ideal body weight

Regular exercise will enable you to maintain an ideal body weight. During and after exercise, excess calories are burned off.

If you are trying to lose weight or just get fit, regular exercise will be a vital addition to your overall fitness plan.

Reduce risk of lifestyle diseases

Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of contracting lifestyle diseases. Exercise improves blood circulation in the body. It also burns off excess calories.

Building strong muscles, joints and bones

Exercise helps you to build strong muscles, bones and joints. Exercise also increases strength and endurance.

Many activities in life require one to have strength and or endurance. Activities such as hiking, swimming or running require strong muscles and bones.

Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers

Strong muscles, joints and bones reduce the risk of injury and also improve the quality of life. Individuals with weak muscles, joints and bones might suffer from disability as they grow older.

Lowers blood pressure

Exercise lowers the blood pressure significantly and also improves blood circulation in the body. Individuals suffering from high blood pressure have to incorporate exercise in their treatment.

Creating a sense of well being

Exercise increases the sense of well being in individuals. Increased blood flow enhances vitality. After exercise most people feel better about themselves and their bodies have a healthy glow.

Woman exercising

Woman exercising

Warding off depression and anxiety

Exercise aids in warding of depression and feelings of anxiety.

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Improving mental focus

Exercise improves an individual’s mental focus. Exercise forces the mind to focus on the current activity in order to avoid injuries. Individuals who exercise consistently have honed their mental focus to a high degree.

How much exercise do we need?

It is recommended to engage in at least 45 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 times in week. However, it should be noted that the intensity and frequency of exercise will vary among individuals.

Individuals aiming to loss weight or gain muscle need to exercise frequently and at higher intensities. Exercise is critical for successful long term weight management.

Levels of physical activity

Moderate Intensity

It is a level of physical activity that increases the hear rate slightly. Moderate physical activity includes exercises such as walking, stretching, and yoga.

High Intensity

It is a level of physical activity that increases the heart rate highly. High intensity physical activity includes exercises such as calisthenics and playing football.

Person lifting weight

Person lifting weight

Regular aerobic exercise will ameliorate your cardiovascular fitness levels and has many benefits for your health. Aerobic exercises reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers and also improves mood and sleep.

The combination of aerobic exercise and a balanced diet is vital for maintaining a healthy weight or shedding excess weight.

Woman exercising

Woman exercising

Types of Physical activities

Aerobic activities

Aerobic exercise refers to any kind of constant activity that works the heart, lungs and muscles. Aerobic includes walking, swimming, dancing cycling, and running.

Very High Intensity

It is a level of physical activity that increases the heart rate tremendously. Very high intensity physical activity includes exercises such as running, tennis and martial arts.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained popularity across the world.

Resistance(Strength)activities

Resistance training refers to activities that are aimed at building and maintaining muscles through the use of progressively heavier weights.

Resistance training is critical for building and maintaining muscle mass throughout an individual’s life.

People lose muscle mass as they grow older. After age 50, it is harder to gain more muscle due to rapid atrophy. Resistance training should be done by both men and women.

People doing yoga

People doing yoga

Stretching and Balancing activities

Stretching is a vital component of exercise. It enhances the circulation of blood in the body. It also helps to minimize the risk of getting an injury during a workout.

Yoga postures improve posture, balance, flexibility, and circulation.

Examples of stretches

  • Cobra stretch
  • Cat stretch
  • Standing side stretch
  • Pilates

Lower body stretches

  • Quad stretch
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Straddle stretch
  • Groin stretch
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  • Glute stretch
  • Calf stretch
People stretching

People stretching

Calisthenics (Body Weight)

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that utilizes an individual’s body weight to build muscles and endurance. It is a high-repetition, low-resistance training. It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular exercise routine globally.

Calisthenics does not require a lot of equipment. It can be done anywhere and anytime. Calisthenics is a critical component of a complete exercise routine. It helps you to develop muscular and aerobic endurance.

Examples of Calisthenics exercise

  • Pull ups
  • Push ups
  • Dips
  • Handstands
  • Planche
  • Front lever
  • Back lever
  • Sit ups
Man exercising

Man exercising

Exercise Checklist

Before an individual embarks on any exercise regimen, they need to take several factors into consideration. One should consult their doctor before engaging in exercise if they are pregnant, sick, or over 50 years.

It is essential to understand that your body weight is determined by the balance between ‘calories- consumed’ and ‘calories-burned’.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Adriel Ananiel

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