Nothing better can be said for the importance of exercise in our lives than the statement of Edward Stanley, US Congressman, “Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to make time for illness.”
Regular physical exercise is important for keeping good health. Daily 15–20 minutes of brisk walking will do the needful, any extra exercise is a bonus. Exercise consumes calories and avoids conversion of any extra calorie into fats, strengthens the heart for pumping blood, reduces resting heart rate and blood pressure, increases basal metabolic rate and brings feelings of well-being due to the release of endorphins. Weight- lifting pushes calcium inside bones and prevents osteoporosis. Regular physical exercise boosts the immune system and helps
prevent diseases of affluence, such as cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes and obesity.
It is not necessary for you to do heavy exercise to get health benefits. A mild exercise if performed regularly can help you a lot. Walking 30 minutes a day can help in reducing your risk of premature death. Walking more than 30 minutes a day will not help you to live longer, it is only 30 minutes a day. More exercise will make you more fit, but may not be healthier. Professor Olstansky of the University of Illinois, says a good pair of walking shoes is the single most important product to be purchased for anti-ageing. Most exercise does not require much equipment except a good pair of sneakers and will power. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, skipping, swimming, cycling etc, improve the body’s flexibility, oxygen processing, production of body’s antioxidants and relaxation of the body and mind. Exercise has an anti-ageing effect, as per Dr Ralph Paffenbarger, professor at Harvard and Stanford University, School of Public Health, who was a researcher on the relationship between exercise and longevity, “Each hour you exercise, you get roughly two extra hours of life.”
Some companies have started advising their employees to do regular exercise. In the United Kingdom two-four hours of light activity is advised during working hours in offices. In the United States, the surgeon general’s report states that every adult should participate in moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming and household tasks for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. Some studies indicate that exercise may increase life expectancy and the overall quality of life. Yoga is very beneficial and improves the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life. It improves the body’s flexibility, wellbeing and relaxation and boosts the immune system. It also helps both in external and internal massage of the body.