February Resolutions: Exercise More

We know that exercise is extremely important in our daily lives for many reasons. Our bodies are designed and evolved to be active regularly. Over time, as technological developments increase, we adapted to different jobs in which we sit down in front of a computer all day long. We may come across many problems if we sit down all day at a desk in front of a screen and have a minimum amount of exercise. In this fast and materialistic world, we overwhelm ourselves with our jobs or schoolwork. We tell ourselves many excuses not to exercise, such as “It was a hard day at work”, “I have no motivation”, “I will start tomorrow”, “I am so tired to move my body”, or “I am quite unhappy, so I don’t feel like it”. Starting from this February, let’s let go of these excuses and focus on ourselves, both our physical and mental health.

Benefits of Exercising

Exercising has not only physical benefits but also mental benefits as well. I know that it is easy to get caught up binge-watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians or barely getting up from the couch because the newest video game is fun but just 30 minutes of moderately intense workouts a day is enough to positively impact you for the rest of your life. But, how does exercise affect our whole lives?

  1. Exercise controls a healthy weight:  A small amount of time will be sufficient for you to have a healthy weight. Whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight, exercise is the key element to achieving your goals. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
  1. Exercise prevents important diseases: According to the National Health Service of London people who do regular exercise lower their risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease stroke type 2 diabetes, and cancers. In fact, people who do regular physical activity reduce their risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by up to 35% and it reduces your chance of having a heart attack drastically. Exercising 30 minutes a day decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also prevents and manages health concerns such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and arthritis. 
  1. Exercise improves mood: We make excuses about how bad we feel and don’t feel like exercising when we have a bad mood. Actually, when you have a bad mood exercising is one of the solutions to overcome it. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. A tiny gyms session, yoga, pilates, run, or any type of exercise will get you out of a bad mood. Exercise is the solution to many psychological issues. It can boost your confidence, self-esteem, and it can decrease or even eliminate depression.
  1. Exercise boosts energy: Exercise helps your cardiovascular system perform more efficiently by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. You’ll have more energy to tackle daily duties as your heart and lung health improves.
  1. Exercise promotes better sleep: Struggling to snooze? You can even fix your sleeping schedule by exercising. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.
  1. Exercise enhances your sex life: Doing exercises and having a dynamic life can even improve your sex life. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.
  2. Exercise makes you more social: Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends or family. You can make new friends where you motivate each other and make your workouts and exercising even more entertaining.

Most Important Types of Exercise

Harvard Medical School published an article where they addressed the 4 most important types of exercise.

  1. Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise helps relax blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, increase mood, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol by speeding up your heart rate and breathing. It can also help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels when combined with weight loss. Aerobic exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falling in the long run. Aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, or step aerobics.
  1. Strength Training: Strength training is important to preventing muscle loss. Strengthening your muscles not only makes you stronger, but also stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, assists with weight control, improves balance and posture, and reduces stress and pain in the lower back and joints. Bodyweight exercises such as squats, crunches, push-ups, and lunges are great examples. Also exercises with weighted dumbbells, bands, and weight machines in gyms are important examples of strength training.
  1. Stretching: Stretching aids in the maintenance of flexibility. When our muscles are younger and healthier, we typically overlook this. However, as people get older, their muscles and tendons lose their flexibility. Muscles shrink and lose their ability to operate properly. This increases the likelihood of muscle cramps and soreness, muscle injury, strains, joint pain, and falls, as well as making daily activities more difficult.
  1. Balance Exercises: Improving your balance will make you feel more stable on your feet and will help you avoid falling. It’s more critical as we age because the mechanisms that keep us balanced—our vision, inner ear, and leg muscles and joints—tend to fail. Standing on one foot or walking heel to toe with your eyes open or closed are common balance exercises.

How Much Exercise Do We Need?

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day as a general objective. You may need to exercise more if you want to reduce weight, maintain weight loss, or accomplish certain fitness goals.

It’s also vital to cut down on your sitting time. The more time you spend sitting each day, the more likely you are to have metabolic disorders. Even if you obtain the appropriate amount of daily physical activity, sitting too much might have a detrimental influence on your health and longevity.

We learned about the importance and benefits of exercise. Starting from this month, let’s try our best to exercise more. Small steps lead to big achievements. Don’t forget that exercising is a key element of living a long, healthy, and high-quality life. So, let’s include exercising into our February resolutions and start today.

CITATIONS

[1] “Essay on Importance of Exercise.” Essay on Fest, 9 Feb. 2022, http://www.essayonfest.online/2021/01/essay-on-importance-of-exercise.html.

[2] “Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity.” Mayo Clinic, 8 Oct. 2021, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389.

[3] Harvard Health. “The 4 Most Important Types of Exercise.” Harvard Health, 2 Feb. 2022, http://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/the-4-most-important-types-of-exercise.

[4] Radcliffe, Shawn. “Exercise Is Good for You, But Does It Really Affect Weight Loss?” Healthline, 18 Jan. 2019, http://www.healthline.com/health-news/exercise-good-for-you-but-does-it-help-weight-loss.

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