Physical exercise can be as easy as finding a total of 30 minutes of activity a day. The benefits include a overall healthier body, as well as preventing the development of cancer and other serious diseases. Obesity is usually the outcome of inadequate physical exercise or an unbalanced diet. It is a major issue in western societies and can be rectified by a healthier diet and exercise.
The lack of physical activity over the last few decades has been attributed not only to being over weight or obese, but also to heart disease, and cancer among others. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, lack of activity has been significantly attributed to breast cancer and colon cancer. Even through the research at this point is still inconclusive, physical activity is beneficial for a healthy body.
Any form of physical activity can be beneficial, whether it’s walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging. The thing to remember is that it needs to be moderately intensive.
Moderately intensive can be described as being able to talk understandably while exercising, but not sing. The recommendation is that you should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. This does not all have to be carried out in a thirty minute segment, but can be spilt into a few activities each day.
Something as simple as walking up the stairs, parking the car further away and walking to your destination instead of driving can be considered exercise. Taking up a physical hobby such as rowing, golf or swimming will give you the incentive to get out and get exercising. Once you’ve taken up the challenge of thirty minutes of exercise each day, you will notice a change in general well being, including stress, energy levels and happiness.
As well as thirty minutes daily, weekly you should also participate in some vigorous exercise at least twice a week. This is the kind of exercise where you work up a sweat, and you breathe harder. Some examples of this form of exercise include going for a jog, or going to the gym. It involves pushing your body harder to produce a more intense workout. Remember that vigorous exercise requires a warm up and cool down period to prevent injury or muscle cramping.
The benefits of exercise to the body are numerous. Exercise builds muscle strength, including strenghtening your health and lungs. Muscle strength prevents injury, strain and also aids in later life. It also builds bone density, which means they are less likely to break in a trauma of some kind, and you are less likely to develop debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis. Exercise lowers your body fat, keeping your weight in control and preventing such diseases as heart disease. Exercising also improves your stress levels and energy. Exercising also produces an endorphin rush, the hormone that make you feel happy and hence reduces stress levels.
While exercising is great for your body it is also important not to over exercise. Exercise can become complusive when the reasoning behind it is misplaced. For example, exercise definately keeps your weight healthy, but if the expectation is to have the perfect body, exercise can become complusive and addictive. The reality is your weight should be what is healthy for your body type and build. Exercise and severe dieting can lead to conditions such as buliema and anorexia, serious psychological conditions that have devestating effects. The pressure and desire to win, particularly in an event that requires bodily strength, can lead to someone over exercising.
A way to determine if you or someone else is over exercising is to ask if training is taking over various parts of daily life, like would you rather train then spend time with family and friends, or do you get upset if you miss a training time? If you find yourself tired due to the fact you are training a majority of the time, then it is time to reassess your exercising habits. Some individuals do exercise more than average such as athletes, but the important thing to remember is just as the body requires exercise, so it requires rest.
If you or someone you know maybe over exercising, it is very important to seek help before this becomes a major problem as over exercising can cause serious, irrepairable damage to the body. Help is available in many different forms, your friends or family, teacher, councellor, doctor, helpline or association.
For more information, visit:
- The National Exercise Guide
- Eating Disorders – Anorexia