Ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal ex­er­cise

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SOCIETY | ADVERTORIAL -

WANT to feel bet­ter, have more en­ergy and even add years to your life? Just ex­er­cise. The health ben­e­fits of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity are hard to ig­nore.

Ev­ery­one ben­e­fits from ex­er­cise, re­gard­less of age, sex or phys­i­cal abil­ity. Need more con­vinc­ing to get mov­ing? The ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise ex­tend far be­yond weight man­age­ment. Check out th­ese seven ways ex­er­cise can lead to a hap­pier, health­ier you.

Ex­er­cise con­trols weight

Ex­er­cise can help pre­vent ex­cess weight gain or help main­tain weight loss. When you en­gage in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, you burn calo­ries. The more in­tense the ac­tiv­ity, the more calo­ries you burn.

Reg­u­lar trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to ex­er­cise every day. To reap the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise, just get more ac­tive through­out your day — take the stairs in­stead of the el­e­va­tor or rev up your house­hold chores. Con­sis­tency is key. Re­mem­ber that obe­sity is a ma­jor risk fac­tor for a num­ber of ill­nesses such as di­a­betes mel­li­tus and hy­per­ten­sion.

Ex­er­cise com­bats health con­di­tions and dis­eases

Wor­ried about heart dis­ease? Hop­ing to pre­vent high blood pres­sure? No mat­ter what your cur­rent weight, be­ing ac­tive boosts high-den­sity lipopro­tein (HDL), or “good,” choles­terol and de­creases un­healthy triglyc­erides. This onetwo punch keeps your blood flow­ing smoothly, which de­creases your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise helps pre­vent or man­age a wide range of health prob­lems and con­cerns, in­clud­ing stroke, meta­bolic syn­drome, type 2 di­a­betes, de­pres­sion, a num­ber of types of can­cer, arthri­tis and falls.

Ex­er­cise im­proves mood

Need an emo­tional lift? Or need to blow off some steam af­ter a stress­ful day? A gym ses­sion or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity stim­u­lates var­i­ous brain chem­i­cals that may leave you feel­ing hap­pier and more re­laxed.

You may also feel bet­ter about your ap­pear­ance and your­self when you ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, which can boost your con­fi­dence and im­prove your self-es­teem.

Ex­er­cise boosts en­ergy

Winded by gro­cery shop­ping or house­hold chores? Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can im­prove your mus­cle strength and boost your en­durance.

Ex­er­cise de­liv­ers oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to your tis­sues and helps your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem work more ef­fi­ciently. And when your heart and lung health im­prove, you have more en­ergy to tackle daily chores.

Ex­er­cise pro­motes bet­ter sleep

Strug­gling to snooze? Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t ex­er­cise too close to bed­time, or you may be too en­er­gised to hit the hay.

Ex­er­cise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to en­joy phys­i­cal in­ti­macy? Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can im­prove en­ergy lev­els and phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, which may boost your sex life. But there’s even more to it than that. Reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity may en­hance arousal for women. And men who ex­er­cise reg­u­larly are less likely to have prob­lems with erec­tile dys­func­tion than are men who don’t ex­er­cise.

Ex­er­cise can be fun . . . and so­cial!

Ex­er­cise and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can be en­joy­able. It gives you a chance to un­wind, en­joy the out­doors or sim­ply en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties that make you happy. Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can also help you con­nect with fam­ily or friends in a fun so­cial set­ting.

So, take a dance class, hit the hik­ing trails or join a soc­cer team. Find a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity you en­joy and just do it. Bored? Try some­thing new or do some­thing with friends. You can even join a so­cial soc­cer club, that is Booz­ers club

The bot­tom line on ex­er­cise

Ex­er­cise and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity are a great way to feel bet­ter, boost your health and have fun. Aim for at least 150 min­utes (30 min­utes per day for 5 days) per week of mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise, or 75 min­utes per week of vig­or­ous ex­er­cise.

Try to en­gage in a com­bi­na­tion of vig­or­ous and mod­er­ate aer­o­bic ex­er­cises, such as run­ning, walk­ing or swim­ming. Squeeze in strength train­ing at least twice per week by lift­ing free weights, us­ing weight ma­chines or do­ing body weight ex­er­cises. Space out your ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the week. If you want to lose weight or meet spe­cific fit­ness goals, you may need to ramp up your ex­er­cise ef­forts.

Re­mem­ber to check with your doc­tor be­fore start­ing a new ex­er­cise pro­gram, es­pe­cially if you haven’t ex­er­cised for a long time, have chronic health prob­lems, such as heart dis­ease, di­a­betes or arthri­tis, or you have any con­cerns. Stop be­ing lazy, start ex­er­cis­ing to­day.

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