Maintaining good health is essential for leading a happy and productive life. One key aspect of good health is staying active. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help manage weight, prevent chronic diseases, and improve mental health. Balance the food you eat with physical activity, this is especially important if you are overweight. Adequate exercise will reduce your chances of having high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, the most common kind of diabetes and other serious diseases. It can also improve your mental functioning and your quality of life.
Sedentary (Little Exercise) Life Style
Many people have jobs where they only exercise a certain part of their body and others don’t get much exercise at all. Exercise helps your heart and your body stay stronger and work better. It lowers blood pressure, improves your cholesterol levels, and can help you lose weight if that is a problem. It also strengthens your bones and improves your energy level and spirits. There is now a world-wide epidemic of obesity that involves all age groups in developing as well as developed countries. Appropriate physical activity is therefore important for men, women and children and all age groups.
Here are five activity tips to try for better health:
1) If you are not physically active, it is never too late to start regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities. Even if someone has been inactive for a long time, they can still improve their health by increasing their level of physical activity.
The benefits of regular physical activity include improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, stronger muscles and bones, increased flexibility and balance, and better mental health. Physical activity can also help prevent and manage chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
To start a physical activity routine, it is important to begin slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of activity. This can include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Incorporating physical activity into daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking instead of driving short distances, can also be helpful.
It is also important to reduce sedentary activities such as sitting for long periods of time, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases. Simple changes such as standing up and moving around every hour, stretching during work breaks, or taking a walk during lunch can help break up sedentary time.
Regular physical activity and reducing sedentary activities are important for good health at any age. Starting small and gradually increasing activity levels can help achieve the recommended amount of physical activity for optimal health.
2) Be physically active every day in as many ways as you can. e.g Walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise that can be done almost anywhere. It is an excellent activity for beginners, people with joint problems, and those recovering from an injury. You can start by walking for 10-15 minutes a few times a week and gradually increase the duration and frequency. Regular walking has numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and reduced stress levels.
3) Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on 5 or more days/week. (The Institute of Medicine now recommends that all people engage in some type of exercise for at least one hour every day of the week. However, even a half hour a day will help decrease your risks and help you to lose weight.) e.g Dancing is a fun way to stay active and improve flexibility, coordination, and balance. It is also an excellent way to socialize and reduce stress. There are many different dance styles to choose from, such as salsa, hip-hop, or ballroom. You can take classes, join a dance club, or simply dance around your living room to your favorite music.
4) If you can, enjoy some regular vigorous-intensity physical activity for extra health and fitness benefits. (For example, swimming, or ride a bike to work instead of taking the car.). Cycling is an excellent activity for strengthening your legs, improving cardiovascular health, and burning calories. It is a low-impact exercise that can be done outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike. If you are new to cycling, you can start with short rides and gradually increase the duration and intensity. Cycling is also an eco-friendly way to travel, reducing your carbon footprint while improving your health.
Swimming is a fantastic low-impact cardio exercise that engages almost all the muscles in your body. It is an excellent choice for people with joint pain or arthritis. Swimming regularly can build endurance, improve cardiovascular health, and help with weight management. Many community centers and gyms have indoor pools, making swimming a year-round activity.
5) School-aged young people should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), school-aged children and adolescents (5-17 years old) should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity every day to maintain good health and prevent chronic diseases.
Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity includes activities that increase heart rate and breathing rate, such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing sports, and dancing. The recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity can be broken down into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each throughout the day.
Regular physical activity has numerous health benefits for children and adolescents, including improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle and bone strength, and mental health. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases in later life.
In addition to daily physical activity, the WHO also recommends limiting sedentary behaviors, such as sitting or lying down for extended periods of time, and encouraging children and adolescents to participate in activities that involve light physical activity, such as walking or cycling to school, doing household chores, or playing actively with friends.
Encouraging children and adolescents to engage in regular physical activity is an important step towards promoting lifelong healthy habits and preventing chronic diseases
At least 60% of the world’s population fails to complete the recommended amount of physical activity required to induce health benefits. Heart disease and stroke and the related conditions of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure kill far more adults than anything else in the world. There are scores of medications for these conditions, and though some can be very helpful, all have adverse effects, and none can result in a cure. Yet studies have shown that even our most deadly diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, can be cured, and they can be cured by you.
Appropriate Diet and Exercise are two very simple things, yet the WHO and our best evidence-based sources report that (even in the most advanced countries) what we do for ourselves and for our families can save many more lives and prevent much more suffering than all of our medicines and all of our surgeries combined. Note: Although a healthy diet and exercise result in a decrease need for medicines and you start feeling better, never stop or reduce your medicines until instructed to do so by your doctor.