The lifelong benefits of exercise are undeniable. Feel younger and live longer are not empty words, these are actual benefits of doing regular exercise. You eliminate a variety of health risks when you exercise thereby contributing to a long and healthy life. Additionally, exercise also enhances sleep, prevents weight gain, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression and even certain types of cancer.
Research shows that cancer survivors who engage in regular exercise and lifestyle modification show marked improvements in physical activity, strength, maintaining a healthy weight and a positive mindset. People with heart conditions have been known to have improved quality of life, reduced hospitalization, and lower risk of death when they exercise moderately. If people with illnesses can improve their lives, you can only imagine what benefits it offers for a healthy person.
If you have never exercised or lack the motivation, I would still insist that you engage in regular and moderate physical activity at least five days a week with consistency and dedication to enjoy the lasting health benefits of exercise. Keep these simple guidelines when you get started:
- Exercise at moderate intensity for a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes spread over the course of a week.
- Avoid inactivity even on the days you do not exercise.
- Do a mix of cardio and weights to strengthen all muscle groups.
- Exercise is a habit, give yourself a fair chance.
- Schedule the time for exercise as ME TIME.
- Set realistic goals and make small changes of progression as you go along
- Be prepared to stay motivated – buy a new track suit, new shoes, a pedometer, a new bicycle. Investment matters!
- Vary your routine – swimming, walking, jogging, gym, zumba, kickboxing, yoga… there’s a lot to choose from.
- Eat nutritious and well balanced meals. Avoid packed and processed foods.
- Get enough sleep
- Stay hydrated through the day.
- Try meditation or sitting still for 10 minutes every day just observing your breath with your eyes closed and spine straight.
- Enjoy life…. There’s not much of it for any of us. Use your time wisely and on things that give you happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
Remember fitness is attainable to anyone at any stage of life. It requires small changes and it requires commitment. To live a healthy, happy and fit life, make exercise a small but important part of your day.
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.