Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, in addition to nutrition (a balanced diet) and adequate hydration (drinking water).
Most people would think of exercise being an important part of achieving a healthy weight, but the immediate response is often a gym membership or starting running.
Both can lead to injury, frustration and perhaps even abandonment, if not properly instructed, planned and maintained.
But exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym every day, it can and should be part of every day life, and it is better to be varied so that boredom doesn’t creep in.
What do you enjoy doing now? What would fit with your lifestyle? What did you used to enjoy doing that has lapsed? What activities do your friends and family enjoy?
Any movement really has to be better than being sat in front of the TV with a large bag of crisps!
Yes exercise does burn off calories, but more importantly it keeps on burning calories over the next 24 hours or so as your metabolic rate increases i.e. you body becomes more efficient a burning the fuel you are taking in in the form of food.
Weight bearing exercise e.g. walking, running improves the strength of bones and is particular important to ward off osteoporosis which Isa thinning of the bones usually seen in older age.
Exercise helps improve the strength of muscles and gives a better form and definition to the body often making you feel better about yourself even if you haven’t lost weight as such. If muscles are becoming bigger via strength exercises it is also important to stretch, and warm-up cool-down sessions are needed with all activities to prevent injury.
Exercise helps improve mood and mental health for a number of reasons. Firstly great hormones are secreted when you exercise, the so-called endorphins and have an effect similar to morphine and can help battle stress and depression. Endorphin release also helps in controlling appetite and increases sex-drive. The amount of endorphin release varies from one individual to another.
The benefits of exercise are greatly seen in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease i.e. high blood pressure, heart attacks diabetes and stroke.
How much Exercise?
Well unless you’re an endurance athlete, the best amount of exercise for improving your wellness is actually around 30 minutes preferably every day. And that is moderate exercise e.g. a brisk walk, doing the hovering! Anything that makes you slightly breathless. Also the 30 minutes is accumulative i.e. it all adds up during the day and doesn’t need to be done all at once. So walking to the shops, taking the stairs instead of the escalator really do help.