Walk, Gym or Swim; But keep yourself active for a healthy life

The best thing you can do for your health is to exercise daily. Short term effects of exercising are visible quickly through controlled appetite, boosted mood, and improved sleep. This wonderful habit rewards with multi-fold benefits in long run too, it reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and even many types of cancers. Even moderately intense exercises like brisk walking, stretching session etc, will do the trick. Although everyone in general is well aware of these points, still we find people shying away or lazying out from following this regime.

But studies have shown that people who join a group or specifically a Gym, have more success rate in making exercise an integral part of their daily routine. Community in gym workouts is the top motivator for consumers to go to gyms. The data are not clear whether the social motivator for going to gyms is the obligation to a trainer or class or whether the social interactions consumers have with fellow members is the catalyst or whether it’s just having other people around.

But a social experience at gyms is by far the highest motivating factor for joining and going. Having a professional setup in a gym is also rated highly.

Ever noticed how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches.

Few of the well-known advantages of regular exercise are listed as follows:

  • Weight loss and weight control
  • Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls
  • Increase your chances of living longer

We’re all taught from an early age that any healthy lifestyle should include regular exercise. More specifically, the NHS (National Health Service, UK) recommends moderately intense physical activity for 150 minutes of a week for an average adult. If broken down, it only comes down to around 22 minutes per day. Not too much to ask, right? However, bear in mind that consistency is key. Doing 150 minutes of exercise one day and nothing for the remaining week isn’t the best for your health – but it’s better than doing nothing at all. A conscious effort should be made to reduce time spent sitting or lying down. Modern facilities and work culture has lead us to a more sedentary lifestyle. Break up long periods of not moving with some activity. Let the blood circulate through your body.

Another side effect of modern day lifestyle is a lot of stress. Ever noticed how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. You may feel tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps. Best way to give your body and mind a healthy break is to go for some exercise.

Effects of exercising: Short and Long Term

When we exercise, the body goes through many changes. Most often, immediately after physical activity you may feel like you’re fatigued, and even sometimes nauseous. There is no need to worry as these are healthy signs that we’re working hard. You may not feel the effect of exercising straight away, but by being consistent, you’ll benefit from all of the great things our body does while being physically active.

  1. Make You Feel Energised

It might sound contradictory, but by exercising, you’ll find that you have more energy on a daily basis. Of course, you should expect to feel pretty tired after physical activity, but that’s only short term. The reason behind feeling full of energy is that by exercising you’re increasing the blood flow around your body. In short, your blood will absorb more oxygen resulting in you feeling more energetic. Ten minute walk on a treadmill or attending an aerobics rejuvenates you thoroughly.

Physical activity helps keep our hearts healthy and improves its strength in the long run. It is highly recommend getting a heart check-up, especially if you don’t exercise, smoke regularly and are overweight.

  1. Fight depression and anxiety

When you exercise, the brain releases endorphins which contribute towards a positive feeling of mental wellbeing. Exercise is a great excuse to take a break from usual hum-drum of life. The time spent doing physical activity can give you some clear-thinking time away from anxious or depressive feelings. Self-image can also play a part in anxious thoughts and exercise is a fantastic way to boost body-confidence. You get to meet new and different people at gym or fitness clubs. Social interactions brighten the mood.

  1. Improve overall quality of life

It is even advised by doctors to maintain an active lifestyle. Regular physical exercise can help towards reducing the likelihood of developing major illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A cardio session or simple yoga done regularly keeps your cholesterol in check and promotes proper circulation of blood in all body parts. You tend to intake more water. This in turn flushes out toxins in form of urine. So it’s a win-win in all scenarios.

  1. Weight loss or weight control

Alongside smoking, obesity is one of the biggest causes of cancer. Many types of cancer could be avoided if people maintain a healthy weight. Vigorous physical activity like circuit training or a few minutes spent on cross-trainer will help you to lose excess body fat and stay in shape. Couple this with a healthy diet or get customized diet plan from the dietician at your gym.

  1. Better sleep

Although scientists have not been able to pin point why exactly this happens but daily exercisers sleep better. Once you have had a good night sleep you feel fresh and full of energy the next day. More or less you can say that exercising in form of aerobics or swimming rejuvenates your brains and you get to enjoy deep sleep.

Some Easy Ways to Get Started With Exercising

  1. Start with an activity or exercise that you enjoy doing the most. It may be as simple as walking, cycling, outdoor sports or swimming. Again stick with it and make it a habit.
  1. For those who need a little more push, join a gym, fitness group or a club. Having someone to share the journey with you and guide you, may help you to continue. They create a very positive experience.
  1. Set yourself realistic targets. It is not a sprint but a marathon. Don’t expect extreme results and drastic changes. This way you are just setting yourself for failure. Also it is dangerous if you push your body trying to reach them. Scales may take time to show results but your body will be much healthier on the inside.
  1. Substitute bits and pieces of your routine with exercise. Walk while talking on the phone, cycle to work, taking a stroll after lunch break; it all helps. If your place has a gym you can train at – even better!
  1. If you’re really struggling and spend most of your day chained to your office desk,  there are desk exercises that you can utilise.