The word “exercise” to some people has connotations of hot and sweaty, out-of-breath people jogging around the block. To others, it means scantily clad bodies dancing around a gym. Neither of these pictures are particularly enticing, but it should be emphasised that exercise, believe it or not, can be a pleasant experience.
“All parts of the body which have function, if used in moderation and exercised in labours which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy, well-developed and age more slowly; but if unused and left idle they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly” – Hippocrates.
“Fitness” is a very general term and means different things for different people. When we think of “fit” people we think of Michael Phelps or Serena Williams certainly not the 65 year old lady next door with some extra weight around the waist line. However, this lady walks 3 miles every day, loves to garden, rarely watches TV, and has an above average fitness level for her age – SURPRISED! Physical fitness can be defined as “the ability to live life with a body that functions to its fullest capacity”. Therefore fitness is a very individual thing and has no age, weight or size barriers. Maintaining your fitness is the best anti-aging medicine. Physical fitness means different things to a dancer, marathon runner, football player, businessman, and homemaker but one fact is clear, if fitness is the goal, exercise is the way to get there.
What are the benefits of staying active?
- Gives you more energy
- Helps in coping with stress
- Reduces fatigue by increasing physical endurance
- Promotes a deeper, more restful sleep
- Improves mood and mental concentration
- Tones your muscles
- Burns off calories
- Helps control your appetite
- Increases levels of the protective cholesterol (HDL)
- Lowers blood pressure, so less need for blood pressure medication
- Strengthens heart muscle
- Decreases your risk of osteoporosis
- Improves control of blood sugar and diabetes
- Helps with weight management
- Improves the effectiveness of smoking cessation
How Hard Should I Work? RPE scale