Exercise: Why not get physical?

Article submission, Saturday 14th October 2006

light physical exercise

There is no denying both the body and mind benefits of incorporating exercise into our daily lives. In fact there is nothing that gives us a much better feeling of wellness than just being plain active in one way or another. After all our bodies are designed for it. Naturally there are various degrees of activity and even a moderate level will improve your condition significantly when acted upon on a regular basis. Physical activity need not be strenuous, just plain getting out and doing something will make a change. Of course greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount (duration, frequency or intensity) of the activity. But what ever the level you feel comfortable with is irrelevant compared to consistency and regularity.

Your choices depend initially upon your present fitness level. It makes no sense to have a sudden brainstorm to engage in some hard core workout if you have been physically inactive for some time, this can only result in either muscular pain or damage through overexertion or worse still a possible bodily injury.

light to moderate exercise

Here are a good number of reasons to get active:

  • Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
  • Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.
  • Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
  • Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Helps control weight.
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, reduces the possibility of back pain.
  • Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
  • Promotes psychological well-being.
  • helps to prevent / reduce osteoporosis, reducing the risk of hip fracture by up to 50% in women.
  • Gives you a healthy appetite and increases stamina and endurance.

This list is only but a few of the overall advantages of being active, but have been included to give you a full scope of the advantages of activity.

light physical exercise

So what is a moderate amount of physical activity?

Below is a sample of such moderate exercises, and as one can see they also include a variety of everyday kind activities. The main point is that whatever you choose to do it should fit easily into our everyday lifestyle, at least this way its continuity can be maintained. A period of exercise is a function of duration, intensity and frequency,its like is an equation. The more strenuous an activity is then the less time is needed to be spent on it, as opposed to less strenuous which involves more time dedication.

moderate to high level physical exercise

Less vigorous more time

  • Washing and waxing a car for 45-60 minutes
  • Washing windows or floors for 45-60 minutes
  • Playing volleyball for 45 minutes
  • Playing touch football for 30-45 minutes
  • Gardening for 30-45 minutes
  • Wheeling self in wheelchair for 30-40 minutes
  • Walking 1 3/4 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
  • Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
  • Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
  • Pushing a stroller 1 1/2 miles in 30 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
  • Water aerobics for 30 minutes
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Wheelchair basketball for 20 minutes
  • Basketball (playing a game) for 15-20 minutes
  • Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Running 1 1/2 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)
  • Shoveling snow for 15 minutes
  • Stair walking for 15 minutes

More vigorous, less time

In conclusion, well just like the NIKE catchphrase "JUST DO IT!"

For further information of exercise choices make sure to check out Rena's article Exercise your excuses or Excuses to exercise? for some great advice.

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