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How Much Exercise is Healthy?

Updated on April 28, 2013
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So how do we know how much exercise is enough to keep our bodies healthy, and how much exercise is too much? Can you really over do it with exercise - what could be so bad about exercising a little too much?

In this hub, we will explore just how much exercise our body needs, and what might the effects of too much exercise be. In this Hub, we will explore the following topics:

  • Not Enough Exercise Effects
  • How Much Exercise is Too Much?
  • Healthy Exercise Plan
  • Importance of Healthy Eating

Not Enough Exercise Effects

We fall under three categories when we don't exercise enough; either we don't have the time for it, we can't motivate ourselves, we don't know how to, or we don't have the facility. When your body doesn't get enough exercise, or if too long of a period goes by without any kind of activity, your muscles and bones suffer for it.

Your bones and muscles have a harder time to keep use of the range of motion for your joints. Your knees start to ache and it becomes harder to move freely without some kind of pain. Inactivity opens your body up to a host of chronic diseases. Heart conditions, diabetes and high blood pressure are just a few of the major benefits of inactivity. If inactivity continues, obesity, depression, and your flexibility and balance will suffer.

Out of the lack of exercise comes obesity, laziness, depression, and a feeling of not wanting to do household chores.


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How Much Exercise is Too Much?

There is such a thing as exercise addiction, and it exists in certain individuals that tend to work out a bit too much. It's one thing to work out to be healthy, and quite another to work out because you can't stop yourself.

Sometimes, working out takes the place of filling the space of something or someone that is no longer in our life. It could also be an escape from the life you lead, or want to lead. A father that might not want to come home to a failing relationship with his wife might choose to stay at the gym until well after she is asleep.

Professional athletes schedule their life around their training schedules. Non professionals normally schedule their training around their life styles. Those that are addicted may take or try to take the professional's route.

For a few people, they think that if a one hour run is good for your health, than a two hour run must be increasingly more healthy for your body.

If you are familiar with the term over-training, it really exists. Over-training leads to injuries, exhaustion, and in the end, actually works against your original intent to be healthy. Over-training doesn't make you stronger or faster, it just doesn't allow for your body to recover. The way your body tells you that it needs more time off for recovery; you get sick - or stay sick longer, your legs feel heavy, your body is always sore, irritable, and have a hard time sleeping.

Recovery is very important for your body when you exercise regularly. If you pick up the intensity of your exercises, then you should reduce the frequency of your workouts.


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Healthy Exercise Plan

Exercise is good for your body - period. As we age, it's the only thing that can keep us independently living on our own. Although it's better if you start earlier in life, it's never to late to start an exercise plan.

Lifting weights will strengthen your bones and muscles, aerobic exercises strengthens your heart and lungs, and yoga or stretching keeps your range of motion in check.

30 minutes of exercise is great for a start, and it actually gets easier as the week progresses. You don't have to do your exercises in a straight 30 minute run, you can break it up. You are more than able to do push-up and squats in the morning for 15 minutes, and wind up the evening with a nice bike ride through the neighborhood.

Keep the interest up and exercise with a friend or partner, or join a gym where you can have the benefit of a trainer that understands what you need to do to stay motivated.

Hydration Check

The recommended intake is about five 20 oz bottles of water. How many 20oz water bottles do you consume on an average day?

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Importance of Healthy Eating

This is such a heavy topic that I couldn't hope to answer it completely without feeling that I should add other things to it. If I kept 'eating healthy' in a general form, it may suffice that I could mention a few things that should serve as a catalyst to an un-ending list of dos and don'ts.

So, in it's barest form, here are a few 'generalities' when it comes to the importance of healthy eating.

Instead of eating 3 square meals, eat several smaller meals. Eating seven meals a day will shrink the size of your meals, and your body's sugar level will not fluctuate in relation to when you do or do not eat. Sometimes when we wait till we're hungry to eat, we might get to a point where we've waited too long and find ourselves famished.

Eating healthy means eating foods like fruits and vegetables and cutting back on saturated and trans fats. Cutting back on white bread and white rice, and increasing your intake of lean meats and whole wheat and whole grain items.

Healthy eating isn't only what you eat, but it's also how you eat that's important. The issue of time has made our meal times a blur of sparks and flash - at least in my house. I developed this bad habit while at work - too many meal times on the fly because of a heavy work load caused me to eat quickly. If you're a fast eater, you need to slow down - it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to signal that you're actually full. Slow down, chew more, and take time to enjoy your meals.

Don't try to eliminate certain foods from your diet, if you do, you'll only want to eat it more, and you'll feel guilty after eating it. Instead, if you like bacon, have it in the morning, but make up for it with a healthy fresh salad for lunch. If you go on a chocolate binge, make sure that you cut back on your next meal. After awhile, you'll be able to choose to eliminate certain foods from your menu without having to deal with cravings.

One of the most important things to do, is increase your water intake. Many of us go through life in a state of dehydration, which can mask as being hungry. Keep yourself hydrated through out the day, and it will not only give you a healthier outlook, skin, hair, etc, it will also help you keep your appetite in check.

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    • KawikaChann profile image
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      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment Tolovaj, I couldn't agree with you more - for the pass few days I've made excuses to skip my cardio... sigh, I may as well get going too. Peace. Kawi.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 4 years ago

      I think majority of us don't get enough exercise. The reason is our sedentary lifestyle. Well, i am sitting right now. Time to get up and go in action:)

    • KawikaChann profile image
      Author

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks DuckyDee for the comment and good words. Peace. Kawi.

    • DuckyDee profile image

      Dusti Pitman 5 years ago from Washington

      This is a great hub with good info. I think I sometimes tend to be the one over doing it. I am working at making sure I don't get too sore and push too hard. As crazy as it is I seem to think that's the only time exercise is working. LOL Thanks for the great reminder.

    • KawikaChann profile image
      Author

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      LOL... righteous! Here's to good health (here I am feeling all fat because I didn't do a thing today except video game and eat) my my my... Okay, got healthy plans for tomorrow - a great hike up mt. Tabor and a good juicing!! Peace. Kawi.

    • Lesley Daunt profile image

      Lesley Daunt 5 years ago from Covington, Georgia

      I actually DID go to the gym right after I posted that lol! thanks!

    • KawikaChann profile image
      Author

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment sarifearnbd and kind words. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile image
      Author

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Hi Lesly, thanks for your comment - yeh, my 25s are staring me down. Time to put some positive time on my body. Peace. Kawi.

    • KawikaChann profile image
      Author

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for your comment Joe - brah, you are up when I finally going moimoi. Have an awesome week Joe. Peace. Kawi.

    • Lesley Daunt profile image

      Lesley Daunt 5 years ago from Covington, Georgia

      You have just reminded me that I need to go join the gym today...seriously!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Thanks, Kawika, for another informative and useful healthy lifestyle hub. I'm off for my daily walk, inspired by your words and visual media! Have a great week, my friend! Aloha!

      Joe

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