Exercise For Better Health

Exercise for better health

Health is Wealth, Exercise is better for good health, Exercise for better Health, they say.

But What is health?

Health as defined by the world Health Organisation (WHO) as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Good health depends on proper diet, a positive attitude, mental peace and exercise. Many of us eat sensibly, have a positive attitude, enjoy good mental health but simply forget to exercise.

But for those who believe that cooking, washing clothes and utensils, sweeping, cleaning your garden, working at office, and even talking are nothing but exercise, friends, it is true that these are all activities which help you spend energy. But widely accepted definition of exercise is " An energetic activity done to keep fit and remain healthy". This definition out rules most of the above said activities that you believe to be exercise as they are nothing but simple chores.

Exercise should give you some pleasure and again, it should be a continuous activity for a given period. Thus walking while performing daily activities may not be termed as exercise, but walking briskly for 20 minutes is exercise.

Exercising has many advantages research has proved that exercise builds up the bod's strength and stamina. It also increases blood circulation to various parts of the body. This ensures better oxygen supply and also stimulates nutrient supply. The body can get rid of toxins and wastes more efficiently through exercise. This also helps in sweating, which unclogs pores and cools the body down. It also promotes production of hormones which keep the skin supple. Improves muscle tone, stretches muscles gently so that they remain fit.

Lack of exercise is responsible for many age-related changes inside and outside the body. Mind you, these changes are dreaded by many! However, regular exercise counters these changes and helps us to appear more healthy and vibrant.

Overweight is the root cause of many diseases like hypertension, heart related diseases, arthritis etc. and to control weight the base root cause of all exercise comes so handy.Contrary to popular beliefs, exercise does not increase your appetite. So weight watchers need not panic. In physiotherapy, specific exercises are prescribed for damaged or recovering body parts to tone up or to activate certain muscles.

Thus, exercise is a thornless, fragrant rose. With so many advantages to gain, one must exercise without giving any lame excuses.

Types of Exercises:

There is a wide variety of exercises for all, ranging from brisk walking to rowing and aerobic dancing. According to the method of spending energy, exercises can be grouped into 3 groups:

1. Aerobic

2.Anaerobic and


Aerobic exercises are sustained rhythmical activities that increase heart rate and breathing -- for example, jogging, cycling, and brisk walking.

Anaerobic exercises are those which require short, sudden bursts of energy-- for example, various sports.

Isotonic exercises are those which develop muscular strength and flexibility - for example, Yoga.

There is no set time span for exercising, but it is widely agreed on one point - to receive full benefits and exercise should be done at least thrice a week for 20 minutes each time. This means one hour a week. To this add warm - up exercise time, you are on your way to good health.

Choosing an Exercise:

Always a wise choice is very important, because it will make you stick to your exercise program. Choose an exercise which is to your liking. For example if you are a nature lover, taking a brisk walk in the open will be more enjoyable than doing an aerobic in a room. An exercise should not become a burden or invite comments like ,"Oh, bother, do i have to exercise today?" If you feel that you are a frequent violator, its better to join a group because peer pressure makes you more regular, than trying to do it on your own. Remember you are exercising for your own benefit. Your exercise should be integrated into a daily routine. There are many exercises which can be done without any special aids and without spending money. The energy expenditure of some popular exercises are as under:

Activity Kcal/min energy expenditure

Aerobic dancing 8 - 12 Badminton 9 - 18 Cricket 3 - 6 Cycling (20km/hr) 5 - 10 Football 10 - 20 Gardening 4 - 10 Hill walking 8 - 15 Running 9 - 10 Swimming 11 - 14 Walking 3 - 5

The figures are for average people and vary with the effort put into the activity. Warm up exercises are a must, as they fulfil the function of waking up the body. Once you start exercising check for the following things.

1. Does the exercise make you happy and energetic for the day.

2. Do you feel discomfort at any time? If you do, discontinue exercise till you find the cause behind the discomfort and rectify it. If the pain or the discomfort persists, consult your physician. Normally its better before you go into an exercise program to consult your physician.

3. Your pulse rate should become normal within about 20 minutes of stopping the exercise.

4. The exercise should tone up the body. It should not pull muscles.

Some exercises are required for some body parts to keep them strong and healthy.

Hair: Massage with warm oil at roots and brush well with a wide toothed comb. This also helps to induce sleep.

Skin: Massage with a small quantity of oil before your bath, especially in winter.

Eyes: Exercises like focussing on a distant object and later a nearby object are good. Relax tired eyes by cupping them in the hollows of your palm. A walk in a garden or in the woods is very refreshing.

Teeth: Chew some hard, crisp foods like toast and fruits like guavas, pear etc.

Chin: Touch chin to the chest.

Nails: Apply cream and rub nails over nails.

Cheeks: Blow up with air.

Some do's and dont's:

1. Do not exercise on a full stomach.

2. Do not exercise till you are tired.

3. Stop exercising if you suffer from pain.

4. Gradually increase the amount of time you exercise.

5. It is better to exercise at a fixed time every day.

6. If due to some reason there is a gap of many days, start all over again.

7. If you start exercising after the age of 40, consult your physician

8. Exercise levels are different for different people. Just because X and Y exercise for an hour, it does not mean that you should do the same thing for the same duration.

Some times, carrying out the same activity makes you bored. In that case why not mix the activities or exercises to make them more pleasurable? In a given week 2 days can be set aside for yoga, 2 days for badminton and 3 days for aerobics. You can even change the table according to your wish.

It is never too late to begin to exercise. And if you do not exercise regularly, don't delay. Start today.

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