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August 18, 2012

Exercise For Your Health!


Exercise For Your Health!

It is common knowledge that exercise and health normally go hand-in-hand.  Doctors not only recommend exercise to maintain overall health but also to combat the symptoms of many illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and even many cancers. Although many people have the misconception that the benefits of regular exercise are linked exclusively to strenuous, challenging workouts, the reality is that inactive people are able to improve their health just by becoming moderately active. 

There are many physical benefits associated with an active lifestyle.  The CDC discusses the benefits of regular exercise as well as provides definitions and explanations about the different terms. The first benefit is prevention.  Exercising regularly can help prevent premature death as well as the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and colon cancer as well as other cancers.  It can also help people who have already developed high blood pressure manage their condition.  Healthy bones, muscles and joints can all be achieved with the inclusion of a consistent exercise routine.  And older adults can use exercise to increase their mobility and balance, preventing dangerous falls.  These benefits are all in addition to helping control weight, which is normally the first thing people think of when they think about exercise. 

The relationship between exercise and overall wellbeing is not limited to the physical realm.  Exercising regularly or keeping up an active lifestyle also affects mental wellbeing.  In the article, “The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health,” Daniel M. Landers discusses how exercise can benefit those suffering from depression and anxiety. Including a regular exercise regimen in the daily routine and doing this over a period of time has the biggest impact on these conditions.  Aerobic exercise best serves to decrease anxiety while consistent strenuous workouts help to reduce depression.  Those people that are most affected by these conditions and include a workout a few times a week receive the highest benefits.  Even if a person is not suffering from depression or anxiety, exercise can improve their mood. 

There are many ways to become more active and include regular exercise in daily routines.  No matter their original shape and condition, each person can start slowly and begin working out at his own pace.  Traditional forms of exercise like walking and jogging offer the same benefits as more rigorous workouts.  Additionally, as a person becomes healthier and more accustomed to regular exercise, they can find ways to continue challenging themselves.  Another traditional way to include exercise in the daily routine is by joining a gym, using the treadmills and ellipticals and other gym equipment available there as well as the services of a personal trainers.  There are also many fitness classes offered at the gyms.  Other people might prefer acquiring home gym equipment and working out in the privacy of their home. 

Becoming more active, however, does not mean following the path of traditional exercises.  There are many non-traditional ways to exercise.  There are interesting classes, such as pole dancing classes and boxing, which can provide strenuous exercise.  As well, there are many circuit training routines that incorporate box jumps, kettle-bells and muscle-ups that are helping people become healthy.  Other non-traditional forms of exercise include mountain biking, rock-climbing, skipping rope and dancing.  Though many people think of these as hobbies, they in fact provide intense workouts.  Completing household chores and activities such as a weeding, gardening, planting, raking the lawn, cleaning, organizing and playing with the kids are also ways to maintain an active lifestyle.  These non-traditional ways are less rigorous, but they are, nonetheless, providing health benefits.   

The important thing to remember is that being healthy, both physically and mentally, includes maintaining an active lifestyle, and that no matter what shape each person begins their health journey in, there is a way to include fitness activities in regular life and build from there.   Traditional and non-traditional exercise routines can all become part of a person’s lifestyle and assist in achieving optimal health.

2 comments:

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    Replies
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