Healthy living is a combination of a healthy body and a sound mind. The importance of food and keeping well hydrated is a given, but sometimes the need and importance of exercise to the body is usually overlooked due to our busy schedules and lifestyles. The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized and it’s resulting benefits to our well-being. As such, there is a need to understand what exercise is, it’s benefits and how it helps to reduce or solve health problems that can arise.
WHAT IS EXERCISE : This is any physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.
WHY EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT: it helps to improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Heart (Cardiovascular) illness. It has both immediate and long-term benefits.
DIAGRAM SHOWING BENEFITS OF EXERCISES
TYPES OF EXERCISES AND THEIR EFFECTS
There are various types of exercises one can do. These include :
- Aerobic: It increases your breathing and heart rates. It keeps the lungs and heart healthy examples are Climbing the stairs, Jogging and taking a Brisk walk.
- Strength Training: This keeps the bones and muscles strong. It helps especially the elderly keep a measure of their independence as bones get more brittle and weak as we age. Example Using resistance bands or Lifting free weights.
- Flexibility Exercises :This helps to keep the body limber and maintain a wide range of motion or mobility. This is important as it helps to combat conditions like arthritis that limit movement. Example Stretching various body parts especially in the mornings when we just wake up or by doing yoga.
- Balancing Exercises: This improves your balance. It strengthens the core and legs. It further helps to prevent falls. Examples include standing on one leg or practicing taichi
SAFE WAYS TO EXERCISE
- Always do proper warm-ups and cool-downs. At least 5-10 minutes of stretching or slow-jogs.
- Always pay attention to signs of injury- pains, strains to prevent stressing or aggravating it.
- Watch your form especially during strength training. If you are not up for it; take a break and rest up. DO NOT PUSH THROUGH SO YOU DO NOT HURT YOURSELF.
- Always stay hydrated. Keep replenishing lost electrolytes by taking fruit infused water or other drinks.
- Always dress appropriately. To prevent circulation loss due to tight clothes or tripping over loose or ill-fitting ones.
- Always have rest days. This is very important, as it gives the body the chance to breathe and repair itself. This will also prevent burnout from over use.
SIMPLE EVERYDAY HACKS TO GET IN SOME EXERCISE IN YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES
- Take the stairs.
- Walk as often as you can
- Stand up- to improve blood circulation after periods of being in a single position or sitting for too long.
- Carry bags- While grocery shopping, it helps put in some strength training for your arms. Ensure you always keep a good posture (back straight and shoulders back) as this engages the core.
- Squat daily- 30 secs a day will help train your ankles, legs, hips and improve stability.
DIAGRAM SHOWING 5 SIMPLE EXERCISES YOU CAN DO
Cultivating a habit and a lifestyle of doing exercises for a minimum of 30 minutes a day will produce many health benefits and it may surprise you that it was the panacea you needed to resolve that lingering health concern.
Written by Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu