How exercise can help your overall health

July 18, 2018

 

‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’
Joseph Addison

 

There have been so many studies conducted that link daily exercise with staying healthy.  Regardless of age physical activity is important for everyone whether you walk, jog, swim or dance. There is an activity that you can fit into your lifestyle and help you stay fit.

Group exercising

Exercise recommendation

Within the various theories on physical activity, one consistent theme is the minimum required time that one should exercise. All the philosophies advocate for an hour a day for at least 3-4 times a week. This can be broken down into 10-minute intervals over the course of 6 hours. Doable right?

However, if you haven’t been active for a while, advice is not to dive right in, you will need to be smart and take it slowly, otherwise you might do more harm than good.

Walking is the easiest and safest form of exercise.  You could go for brisk walk for 10 minutes through the day, no cost is required. This is a great starting point for someone that isn’t particularly active.  Ensure to walk a steady brisk pace; the idea is to get our heart rate slightly elevated, this will  get your heart pumping that oxygen around your body.

Fitness class stretching in the park

Exercise benefits

Staying active is said not to only beneficial for a person’s physical well-being but also mental, emotional and inner well-being.

Let’s delve deeper into the areas that exercise has seen to benefit;

  • Lowering the risk of dementia and depression.
    Did you know when you exercise your brain is also hard at work creating serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
  • Reduce the chances of obesity
    Physical activity increases your energy expenditure, decreasing fat around the waist and in turn slowing down the development of abdominal obesity.
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
    Not only does the effects of physical activity reduce blood pressure, but also reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and increases the good type HDL. As a result, it improves your body taking in and using oxygen.  Most importantly this all helps to reduce chances of a heart attack or other cardiac events.
  • Reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
    Activity of all sorts favourably affects the body’s ability to use insulin that controls glucose levels in the blood.  Therefore, when exercising your muscles need more glucose to supply energy and the insulin helps your muscles take in glucose. As a result, lowering your glucose rather than backing it up causing a high blood glucose level.
  • Reduces the risk of some cancers
    Dozens of studies have shown exercise to reduce colon cancer compared to that of an inactive person. When you exercise digestive acids occur and these acids are said to provide some protection from colon cancer.  The decrease of body fat and insulin contribute to lowering colon cancer risk.  Women found with high levels of estrogen have a higher risk of breast cancer.  Exercising lowers the level of estrogen therefore lowering the risk of breast cancer.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
    Weight lifting and other muscle activities helps build muscle mass.  This helps improve posture, increase metabolism and reduce risk of injury.
  • Increases the chances of living longer
    With all the above health benefits, it’s no wonder as to why anyone would increase their chances of living longer.  Being physically active does have all round benefits, not forgetting the social aspect getting out and meeting new people.

Get in touch with us and let us know how exercise changed your health.

If you have any existing health conditions, please seek medical advice first from your GP / medical expert for suggestions on how you can get active.

There are several websites with lots of information on how to get fit, here are a couple to get you started;

https://www.ukactive.com/news/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-older-adults/


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