Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your body. It helps to keep you fit, tones your muscles, reduces the risk of injury and increases your overall sense of well being. Exercise is a very important part of staying healthy. However, there is often confusion as to what kinds of exercise are good for you and which kinds of exercise are bad for you. The first rule is this: whatever makes you feel good is exercise. Exercise is any physical activity that improves or maintains general health and fitness and overall wellness.
So what kinds of exercise are considered exercise? Walking, running, jogging, bicycling, tennis, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, dancing, singing (not in a competitive voice), playing golf, weight-bearing exercises (such as lifting weights), strength training, stretching and abdominal exercises. The list could go on. In other words, exercise is almost always associated with moving your body. You may be looking at a piece of paper or on a piece of tape, but the idea is the same.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and other physical diseases, improves the function of the joints, strengthens the muscles and helps you sleep better at night. Exercise also plays a role in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. The exercise has even been shown to help prevent cancer and some types of diabetes.
Exercise results in changes in the body’s chemistry: increased blood circulation, greater flexibility and strength, and increased muscle and bone mass. Exercise also helps to maintain a normal weight. It increases your endurance, increases your mental awareness, increases your balance, helps to decrease your risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, decreases your cholesterol and blood pressure, increases your stamina, and provides you with increased strength.
To get the maximum benefit from exercise, it’s recommended that you do it for a minimum of one hour each day. If you are sedentary, increase your aerobic activity to at least three times that of your walking time each day. Aerobic activity burns calories much faster than walking or jogging. If you do physical activity for at least an hour each day for at least three weeks, you will see the following benefits: a reduction in your blood pressure and cholesterol, improvement in your gait, the improvement in your balance, and a decrease in your weight. If you combine aerobics with strength training and flexibility exercises, you will find it easier to maintain your ideal weight and to manage your blood sugar levels.
Finally, exercise provides many other health benefits besides helping you to lose weight and to keep your weight within the recommended range. By maintaining good cardiovascular conditioning, you can protect against heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. You can strengthen your immune system, improve your digestive system, improve your bone strength, improve your mental awareness and alertness, improve your over-all well-being, and enjoy a higher quality of sleep.