When we think of exercise, it involves activity. Whether it may be physical or mental activity depends on what we want to achieve with it.
You can train your brain with mental activity by solving a cross-word puzzle or trying to solve a mathematics problem. However, the type of exercise I like to discuss will be physical activity.
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 widespreadform of ‘self poisoning’ : constipation. Exercise does keep you regular!
Physical activity has many health benefits. I’m not going into details about
the health benefits of exercise, you can read all about it in my article: “Fitness”.
Sufferers from rheumatism and arthritis, also those who are overweight,
are prone to take too little exercise. When people are troubled with
rheumatic twinges it is usually a sign that more exercise is needed and
that their diet contains too many acid-forming foods.
Forms of exercise
Forms of exercise is a matter of personal preference.
While exercise programs often vary from person to person based on fitness levelsand goals, each one should include aerobic exercise, resistance – and flexibilitytraining. Those components will help you improve your fitness level and help youovercome obstacles that challenge your agility, balance, coordination, enduranceand strength in everyday life.
Skipping is an effective form of exercise, and one of the best exercises
for keeping fit and is very suitable for wet days, as it can be done indores.
The skipping rope should be just long enough to clear the head, when standing erect. Five minutes skipping every day is
adequate for the first week, increasing gradually to ten, fifteen and finally twenty minutes.
During bad weather it is best to skip at an open window, or better still, under a veranda.
Generally speaking, when we grow older we should take less strenuous exercise than when we were younger. Walking and gardening are safe exercises for almost all ages. Tennis could perhaps better be left to younger people, although here and there one finds elderly people playing tennis with all the vim and gusto of youth. These people have usually ‘grown up’ with the game and accustomed themselves to what is normally a strenuous form of sport.
Swimming, like walking, is very suitable for older people, although they are advised to keep to the slower back and breast strokes, rather than the
more tiring modern strokes. Swimming has the advantage that the body’s weight is partly supported by the water, which makes it possible to exercise without straining oneself or damaging a muscle.
We do not recommend exercise as a method of reducing weight, for this is
Exercise will reduce weight temporarily, but the appetite thus acquired will rapidly put weight back again.
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!
I like to mention that I have developed an exercise program that can benefit
young and old people, busy people and retired folks.
It’s just a matter of choosing which exercise fits you best.
I have included in my introduction how to exercise, warming-up exercises,
aerobics, weight-bearing exercises and nutrition for athletes, which is also important.