As we go through life’s different stages, the type and amount of exercise we need, may change considerably.
As we go through life’s different stages, the type and amount of exercise we need may change considerably. As we age, exercise bestows important benefits, and the older we get the more essential these benefits become to our quality of life. Though some exercises are more beneficial than others, the truth is that any exercise you do in addition to your normal level of activity will benefit your health in a very short time.
Apart from the physical benefits of exercise, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helping to control weight, if you exercise regularly you are also less likely to suffer from mental health problems, such as depression, as exercise helps individuals retain a sense of well-being and alertness. Exercise can work as painkiller and mood enhancer because it causes the body to release chemicals called endorphins which are not only block pain signals but also affect part of hypothalamus, the area responsible for determining mood.
Reasons to exercise regularly
- Exercise will help to reduce the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases by increasing heart rate and respiratory capacity.
- It will help to prevent osteoporosis by keeping bones strong and healthy.
- It will help lubricate cartilage, keeping it supple and reducing the risk of joint problems
- It will help the muscles around your joints stronger for longer, helping to prevent falls and other injuries.
- Should an accident happen, exercise will help to make any injury less severe and quicken the healing
A good programme should include exercises to increase your respiratory capacity, your muscle strength, your balance and your flexibility. Most important, it should be safe and pleasurable. The sheer variety of possible combinations should ensure that you find some physical activity to suit your interests. However, safety is paramount.
When you exercise, keep yourself hydrated by drinking relatively small amounts of water but regularly. This will keep you comfortable and increase your awareness of the activity you are engaged in. For most adults, exercising for more than one hour a day will not increase their cardiovascular performance but may increase the risk of complications, including injuries. Injuries are perhaps the most common risk with exercise; bur serious injuries can be treated quite simply with one or two days of rest.
To avoid injury and make exercise more enjoyable, wear clothing that is appropriate for the activity and wear shoes designed specifically for your chosen activity.
WHAT EXERCISE IS GOOD FOR ME?
In reality, the best exercise for you is the one that you like to do – an activity you associate with pleasure, to which you would like to return regularly, or a sport you would like to develop or keep up.
If you are a new to exercise, build up slowly and steadily. Start your exercise session with warm-up routine and finish with a cool down. The time you spend warming up will depend on the type of activity you plan to do, but in general a warm-up should last about 10 minutes, and include some aerobic activities to raise your heart and breathing rates, followed by some stretches to increase the flexibility and suppleness.
By doing a cool-down routine you allow your heart and breathing rates to slow down gently, and the stretches will help to prevent any post-exercise aching and stiffness – particularly important for those new to exercise.
WHAT YOUR CHANGING BODY REQUIRES
From the physical point of view there are essentially four reasons to exercise:
- To increase your cardio-respiratory capacity
- To increase your muscle strength and metabolism
- To increase your flexibility
- To increase your balance
What does exercise for you:
- it gives you more energy
- it helps you to sleep
- it helps counter anxiety and depression
- it helps you relax
- it helps you to cope with stress
- it improves your self-image
- it gives you an opportunity to socialize and meet new friends
Adults should strive to take on some physical activity of moderate-intensity physical activity for 20 or more minutes on 3-4 days a week. If you want to exceed a moderate level of fitness, you need to exercise 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes.
Types of exercise.
Different types of exercise will develop different aspects of your body’s abilities. Some exercises as walking, swimming and step classes, are thought to be particularly good because they exercise almost every muscle in a balanced manner while helping to increase your cardiovascular capacity.
Exercises that rely on repeated movements with weights or against resistance are called muscle strengthening exercises, and they will increase your muscle mass, bone density and body metabolism.
Flexibility can be increased by stretching and yoga exercises.
Anyone, who does at least 30 minutes any kind of exercise activity a day, can cut the incidence of chronic activity by 30-40%.