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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXERCISING

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Exercising daily for at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week is very vital. Exercising daily can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Exercising daily keeps one physically active and will help you leave a healthy and happy life. Research has shown that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Health benefits

If you want to leave a healthy and fulfilling life into your old age then you need to start exercising now; do not say later.
Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have:

•    up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
•    up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
•    up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
•    up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
•    a 30% lower risk of early death
•    up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
•    up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
•    a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
•    up to a 30% lower risk of depression
•    up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

If you have just started exercising, you can start with moderate intensity aerobic activities so your body starts getting used to the workout. When looking for activities, make sure they are activities that are hard enough to get your heart rate up. Cooking and housework are not part of your daily exercise; so quit using that as an excuse. Below are some examples of such aerobics:

•    walking fast
•    water aerobics
•    riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
•    playing doubles tennis
•    pushing a lawn mower

  • Inactive lifestyles

Research has shown that inactive behaviours, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health. We have to reduce the amount of time we spend sitting down because this would only make unfit.

Watching TV, using a computer, using the car for short journeys and sitting down to read, talking or listening to music increases your risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as weight gain and obesity. 

We need to sit and think about the healthy activities that will suit our lifestyles. I know a lot of us parents work so hard that by the time we get home all we want to do is sleep; some even forget to eat. Despite our extremely busy schedules, we have to create time to keep fit because we are helping ourselves in the long run.

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