By Lana Elayyan
Personal trainer and fitness consultant
Stop making excuses and start exercising!
The benefits of physical fitness are greater than you think.
Feel younger, live longer.
These are actual benefits of regular exercise. Active People with high levels of physical fitness are at lower risk of dying from a variety of causes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
What do the Benefits of Exercise Mean to you?
Research shows that exercise enhances sleep, prevents weight gain, and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even depression.
“One study found that when breast cancer survivors engaged in exercise, there were marked improvements in physical activity, strength, maintaining weight, and social well-being,” explains Rachel Permuth-Levine, PhD, deputy director for the Office of Strategic and Innovative Programs at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
“Another study looked at patients with stable heart failure and determined that exercise relieves symptoms, improves quality of life, reduces hospitalization, and in some cases, reduces the risk of death,” adds Dr. Permuth-Levine.
She says that exercise isn’t just important for people who are already living with health conditions: “If we can see benefits of moderate exercise in people who are recovering from disease, we might see even greater benefits in those of us who are generally well.”
Physical Fitness: Exercise Basics
Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard core to produce results. Even moderate exercise five to six times a week can provide long lasting health benefits.
When you are involved in more physical activity there are three simple points:
1. Exercise at moderate intensity for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes during each week.
2. Avoid periods of inactivity; some exercise at any level of intensity is better than nothing.
3. Two to three times a week of aerobic exercise (cardio) with weight-lifting activities that strengthen all major muscle groups.
4. Change your life style by Making Exercise a Habit
When you ask people why they don’t exercise, the Most common answer you get is :(I don’t have time ), If you find it difficult to fit extender periods of exercise into your schedule, keep in mind that short bouts of physical activity in 10-minute segments will nonetheless help you achieve health benefits. Permuth-Levine advises, “Even in the absence of weight loss, relatively brief periods of exercise every day reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
5. Set realistic goals and take small steps to fit more exercise into your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to the grocery store instead of driving. “The key is to start gradually and be prepared,” says Permuth-Levine. “Have your shoes, and gear ready so you don’t have any excuses.”
To help you stick with your new exercise plan, vary your activities like swimming one day and biking the next.
6. Get out and start a basketball or tennis game with your kids. Even if the weather is an obstacle have plan B ready — use an Treadmill in your home, exercise equipment at a nearby community center, or simply join a health club . Look at exercise as a daily hygiene habit like brushing your teeth or taking a shower — as an essential daily routine .
Remember that physical fitness is achievable.
Even small changes in your daily routine will pay you off for years to come.
Photo credit: MilitaryHealth / Foter