There is no drug in current or prospective use that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime program of physical exercise.
Some have erroneously concluded that they do not need to exercise because they are not overweight.
Overweight and obese individuals will benefit greatly from a regular exercise program.
Even though, you are not overweight, an increase in physical activity is very likely to prevent serious diseases, including certain types of cancer and help to improve your overall health.
Furthermore, recent studies indicates that physical activity may even prevent depression and reduce anxiety.
The truth is, many who are slim suffer from emotional and mental stress, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other conditions that are aggravated by a lack of enough exercise.
However, whether you are slim or overweight, if you lead a sedentary life, you do well to increase your level of physical activity.
What Is a Sedentary Life-Style?
How do you know if you are active enough?
One explanation used by several health organizations is that you are Sedentary if you
- Do not move from place to place while engaging in leisure activities.
- Do not exercise or engage in some vigorous activity for at least 30 minutes three times a week.
- Rarely walk more than 100 yards during the course of a day.
- Have a job that requires little physical activity.
- Remain seated most of your waking hours.
If you are not getting enough exercise, why not start something about it today? ‘Oh! But, I just don’t have the time’, you may say.
When you get up in the morning, you are simply too tired. At the start of the day, you hardly have enough time to get yourself ready and get to your job. Then, after a long day, again you feel too tired to exercise and have too many other things to do.
It could be you are among the many who start to exercise but quit after just a few days because they find it too strenuous, perhaps even feeling suck after exercising.
While others shy away from exercise because they think that a good fitness program must include a very difficult routines of weight lifting, lengthy daily runs covering many miles, and carefully choreographed stretching session.
Additionally, there is the expense and the perceived inconvenience. For strength training you need weights or special exercise machines. Joggers need suitable clothing and shoes. A sports-club membership can be costly. Travel to the gym can be time-consuming.
It is important to note that none of the above need prevent you from leading a physically active life and reaping the health benefits.
Set Realistic Goals
First and foremost, if you plan to start an exercise program, do not set unrealistic goals. Start slowly, and work your way up.
Light-to-moderate physical activity is encouraged. Scientist recommend that sedentary individuals increase their activity gradually.
Start by adding a few minutes of increased activity to your day, and work up to 30 minutes most, and preferably all, days of the week.
All you have to do are normal things, like walking, taking the stairs, but just more often, a little longer, and /or a little faster.
Beginners should focus on regularity rather than intensity. Once your strength and endurance have improved, you can work on increasing the intensity.
To reduce the risk of injury and to avoid the burnout and discouragement that often lead to quitting, keep exercise at a comfortable level.
A Higher Level of Exertion
While a moderate increase in everyday physical activities can bring significant health benefits, researchers say that greater results are obtained with more vigorous exercise. Below are some options.
Health professionals recommend consulting a doctor before embarking on a program of vigorous exercise.
- Swimming: You can exercise all the major muscle groups in your body by swimming. It also helps keep your joints flexible. Swimming is recommended for people with arthritis, back problems or weight problems as well as for pregnant women. Avoid swimming alone.
- Brisk walking: This is one of the more convenient ways to exercise. All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a path. Walk with a longer stride and a pace that is considerably faster than a leisurely stroll. Try to reach a speed of about five miles [4 to 9 kilometers] an hour.
- Rebounding: This aerobic exercise requires the use of a small trampoline. It simply involves bouncing on the trampoline. Proponents claim that rebounding improves both blood and lymphatic circulation, increases the capacity of the heart and lungs, and improves muscle tone, balance and coordination.
- Jogging: When you jog, you are basically running at a slow pace, jogging has been described as the most efficient way to achieve cardiovascular fitness. However, because of its higher impact, jogging is more likely to cause muscle and joint injury. Hence joggers are reminded about the need for adequate shoes, moderation and stretching.
- Bicycling: If you have bicycle, you can enjoy a very effective form of exercise. Bicycling can burn up to 700 calories an hour. Like walking and jogging, however, bicycling is often done on the streets. For this reason you must remain alert as you ride, taking all the necessary precautions to prevent accidents.
Everyday Activities That Can Improve Your Health
According to recent studies, sedentary people may benefit from simply increasing the frequency of everyday activities that require moderate levels of Exertion.
You may want to try some of them as indicated below
- Walk while you talk. You do not always need to be seated when having casual conversations with friends or family members.
- Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator or ride the elevator to a floor somewhat short of your destination and then take the stairs the rest of the way.
- When using your own vehicle, get in the habit of parking some distance away from your destination. In a multilevel parking garage, park on a level that will allow you to climb the stairs.
- If you use public transportation, get off a few stops early, and walk the rest of the way.
- If you have a sedentary job, find opportunities to work in a standing position, and move around whenever possible.
Drink Enough Water
Inadequate water consumption during exercise can be harmful. It can cause fatigue, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping.
When you exercise, you sweat at a faster rate, and this can lead to a drop in your blood volume.
If you do not replenish the lost water through perspiration, the heart has to work harder to circulate the blood. It is suggested to avoid dehydration, you should drink water before, during, and after exercise session.
Regularity is a must. Three 10-minute periods of Exertion can be almost as beneficial as one 30-minute session.
A sedentary life-style is harmful to your health. No vitamin, medicine, food or surgical procedure that can replace your need to remain active.
Cherish your body. It’s a gift from God. Stay active, break a sweat now and again, work those muscles-you and might live a healthier and longer life!