Besides diet, exercise or physical activity is critical and probably the most important thing you can do to achieve optimal health and feel better. Nutrition and physical activity are interactive; each influences the other.
Exercise and physical activity both involve body movement, muscle contraction and energy release. The difference between exercise and physical activity is that exercise is usually considered to be more strenuous and structured. For our purpose, exercise and physical activity are the same.
- Improves nutritional health
- Reduces stress
- Improves your self-image, outlook or mood – spiritual happiness
- Lowers risks & combats chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, heart, high cholesterol, hypertension, immune system
- Helps to manage your weight
- Strengthens your body & improves body composition – helps prevent injuries
- Helps improve your sleep – usually more restful
- Enhances immunity
- Improves quality of life
- Increases your energy and relieves fatigue
- Can be entertaining and fun – exercise with a friend or people-watch
- Increases your life span
- Is free or inexpensive
Four types of exercise:
- Cardio-respiratory or Aerobic – aerobic activity like playing sports, running, cycling, power walking enhances the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles – your heart strengthens, breathing is easier and your overall body improves
- Strength – resistance at a controlled speed and full-range of motion like push-ups, weight-lifting or pilates reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves mobility and helps maximize and maintain your bone mass
- Flexibility – uses major muscle groups like yoga does
- Core Strength – core strength refers to the muscles of your abs and back and their ability to support your spine and keep your body stable and balanced. Core exercising is more of a recent phenomenon and philosophy about strengthening your body by using a ball or bosu ball, balancing on one foot, or doing any exercise that strengthens your core body strength.
To achieve any kind of fitness, you need to incorporate all types of exercise – cardio, flexibility, muscle strength, cardio & muscle endurance and core. You should exercise between 30-60 minutes a day. The more you exercise, the easier it becomes the next time you exercise because your body adapts. If you are currently living an inactive or sedentary lifestyle, your life can improve dramatically just by walking 30 minutes a day. You do not need to go to a gym to achieve fitness.
- 30 minutes daily lowers risks of chronic diseases and cancer
- 45 minutes daily helps prevent weight gain and improves weight loss
- 60 minutes daily allows for optimal fitness
Exercise is good for you at any age. You do not have to be an athlete to exercise. Do whatever you can – walk, walk up steps, do push-ups or pull-ups, go to the gym – that you can fit into your daily schedule.
Effects of not exercising:
Tell us what you do to exercise or remain fit.
- Promotes diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, weakens immune system, and some cancers
- Contributes to weight gain
- Encourages depression
- Affects self-confidence
- Depletes energy
- Increases risk of bad nutrition