Physical activity is one of the four aspects of lifestyle, which have a major influence
on our health and well being. The other three are: nutrition, stress, and synthetic chemicals.
Nevertheless, half the Australian population doesn’t have adequate exercise and one in eight adult is totally sedentary.
Being fit does wonders for the working of our bodies and minds, for our attitudes and moods and for the prevention of degenerative diseases and early aging.
The evidence for benefits in relation to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure are
overwhelming. More recent evidence confirms that there are benefits also for the prevention of adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, anxiety and depression.
In contrast to these benefits, sedentary living may be responsible for as much as one-third
of the fatal cases of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes.
When we analyze the large number of benefits which are responsible for being fit, it’s easy
to get motivated to get started with activity, or to keep it up, whatever the case may be.
We have to keep in mind that it is important for any physical activity that it should be
enjoyable, otherwise there is a big change that we discontinue sooner or later.
It is important to think of fitness as part of normal health and part of our normal life,
not just an eccentric hobby. It may surprise you that only a small amount of regular
physical activity can make the difference between a body which is sluggish, lethargic,
lacks tone and is overweight and one which is energetic, fit, trim and good looking.
Walking is the best exercise you can have, because it’s natural.
Good long brisk walks give a lot of benefits- the whole body begins to respond.
You breath properly, your circulation and heart benefits, and it’s good for the mind
and positive thinking.
It’s only in recent years that fitness gurus have recognized the supremacy of brisk walking.
In contrary to jogging, brisk walking provides a lot of benefits without any problems.
Walking is almost as important as the right food. You need to eat properly and exercise
properly, the two together gives you the best results.
The internal organs of the body need tone and for this most of them depend almost entirely on physical activity. As we breathe deeply, the diafragm – which separates the chest from the abdomen – rises and falls repeatedly, massaging all the internal organs, particularly the stomach, small intestine, bowel, lungs and liver.
The stretching and relaxing of the intestines is vital in preventing that widespread form of
‘self poisoning’ : constipation. Exercise does keep you regular!
The heart is a much more powerful and efficient organ than is commonly thought and
is capable of meeting all the emergencies of life. The fear that exercise will damage a
healthy heart appears to be entirely wrong. Muscle fatigue occurs long before heart strain.
In preventing heart disease and stroke, regular physical activity is a major factor in raising
the beneficial HDL form of blood cholesterol, while leaving the level of harmful LDL
cholesterol unchanged. As far as fat is concerned, studies have shown that even a high-fat
diet coupled with exercise is safer than a low fat diet with no activity at all.
At its peak during intense activity, a healthy heart might level off at a pulse of 190
or less without strain, whereas in an unfit person the heart might be pushed to 220 or more, which is dangerously high.
The fitter you are, the slower will be your resting pulse rate.
The typical rate at rest is about 72 beats per minute, but for a fit person,
this may fall to 65, 55 or even 45, if you are very fit.
The brain works at a great rate, for which it needs abundant nutrients and oxygen.
Without oxygen we become tired and yawn. Increased circulation clears the brain and
sharpens the senses.
Because the nervous system also steps up its rate of functioning, repetitive exercise makes
nerve control more efficient and more automatic. The more efficiently we walk or run,
the less energy is needed.
Active muscles receive increased nerve impulses, blood supply and greater nutrition.
Development of the whole area takes place. Even the bones that are involved become
tougher, denser and less liable to breakage.
Some people will tell us – possibly to try to convince us or themselves that exercise
is unnatural or unnecessary – that they don’t care for big, bulky muscles.
Women sometimes believe that exercise will make them over-muscled and unfeminine.
While it is true that exercise can be used to build big bulging muscles, the amount of
exercise required for body building as far more than for normal fitness.
The physical beauty of a man or a woman is due largely to the quality and shapeliness
of the muscles. Properly developed muscles which in repose do not bulge, but are
smooth in contour and firm in appearance, giving a pleasing and attractive outline,
which was obviously part of nature’s plan!
Only fitness and good health can achieve and maintain the body beautiful!