The gospel of exercising is not new to most people by now. You know exercise is good for you, like they always say yet you haven’t changed your exercise habits. Some great news you might want to hear is that you can always start now. How good is exercise for you anyway?
Exercise is simply defined as activities directed towards making your muscles do some work and, in the process, the body gets to burn calories. Over the years, we have come to know that gross inactivity is a major risk factor in weight gain and obesity which is really due to the slower metabolic rate and buildup of calories associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise has been shown to increase the body’s metabolic rate, which helps to burn more calories and lose weight. Of course, one should endeavor to combine exercising with dieting as the latter is a reduction of calorie intake. We certainly don’t want to inadvertently gain the calories we were trying to lose in the first place.
Exercise has been shown to improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. This aspect is better experienced than narrated. Take a step today. Do that workout you have always intended to do and see how you feel at the end of it. You always feel good at the end of exercise, provided it was injury free. This is not unconnected to the increase in brain sensitivity for hormones such as serotonin and norepinephrine, as a result of the exercise activity. Now, who doesn’t want to feel happy?
In addition to those above, exercise can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and heart conditions e.t.c have been found to occur less in the more active population. Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness while decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels. This is also related to the calorie burning function of exercising. Regular exercise is even a key part of the management of people who already have these chronic diseases.
How do we make exercise a part of our regular routine?
- Make everyday activities more active. You can do this by walking down to see that friend who stays nearby instead of ‘chatting’ him up, washing your car yourself or parking a little further away from your destination.
- Be active with friends and family. Having a workout partner might help.
- Keep track of your progress as this helps to stay motivated.
- Make exercise more fun, listen to music, watch TV and dance. It doesn’t have to be with all seriousness.
Start now and you will certainly be thankful for it. Live, love and laugh!
By Joshua Faniyan