Insufficient physical activity or lack of exercise is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. It is a key risk factor for development of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
Take example of a car, which is designed to move. If that car is taken out once a week for a short trip then it would probably develop engine problems quickly. Similarly, over time people too develop problems if they sit down all day without any physical activity. Over time people too develop problems if they sit down all day at a desk or in front of the TV and minimize the amount of exercise they do.
If you don’t exercise, your muscles will become weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently leading to slow metabolism. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured.
Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process. Many studies have found that exercise helps in reducing depression and anxiety. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins (feel good hormone) which make you feel better and more relaxed. These in turn improve your mood and lower your stress levels.
Exercise does not need not be strenuous to achieve the associated health benefits.Significant health benefits can be obtained with a moderate amount of exercise.You can take a step towards getting fit by following these simple tricks.
- Start small: The first week of starting into exercising, start small. Commit to doing 10 minutes of an exercise video or walking for exercise three days a week.
- Cater to Your Own Likes and Dislikes: Best exercise is the one you enjoy and will keep doing. If you hate walking or can’t see yourself making a weekly commitment to yoga, move on to something you’ll look forward with excitement. One person’s running is another person’s yoga, weight training, or dance. Make it easier by choosing a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle, personality, and taste. That workout could be a dance class, or walking with friends.
- Build up over time: After few weeks, build up your activities—do them longer and more often. For example: Instead of walking for 10 minutes, try and set a target of walking 20 minutes and then 30 minutes gradually.
- Pick up the pace: Focus on increasing the intensity gradually. For example: Once 15 minutes’ walk is easy to do, try walking faster. Keep up your brisk walking for a couple of months. You can also add jogging on some days for variety.
FOR PEOPLE ALREADY EXERCISING AT MODERATE LEVEL
- Step up the duration: Stepping up the duration with a small margin will help you in burning more calories.
Example: If you are walking for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Try and go longer—walk for 50 minutes, 3 times a week.
- Step up the frequency: If you cannot manage to take out more than 30 minutes in a day then increasing the frequency would be a great way to step up the exercise level.
Example: Are you walking lightly 3 days a week for 25 minutes each time, Increase the number of days you walk. Work up walking 5 days a week for 25 minutes each time.
- Step up the intensity: Instead of doing only moderate-level activities, replace some with vigorous aerobic activities that will make your heart beat even faster. Adding vigorous activities provides benefits in less activity time. In general, 15 minutes of vigorous activity provides the same benefits as 30 minutes of moderate activity.
Example: If you have been walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week. Then on 2 days, try jogging instead of walking for 15 minutes each time. Keep on walking for 30 minutes on the other 3 days. OR If you have been doing strengthening activities 2 days a week, try adding an extra day.
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