The importance of Exercise in Health and Fitness
Exercise is something that most of us shy away from. We can normally find plenty of excuses for not exercising. Quotes like, “I don’t want big muscles”, “I don’t have time”, “I haven’t got the energy”, “it’s only for young people”, I’ll start tomorrow”, and “I don’t live near a gym”.
Let us start by addressing some of these quotes. Unless you are a male between the ages of 15 and 40 you have virtually no chance of building big muscles no matter how intensely you exercise, and even then you have to lift big weights and do it in a particular way.
There are many men in this age group who don’t build significant muscle mass, no matter how hard they try. So if this is a firm true belief of yours, about building too much muscle, forget it now and start exercising.
Certainly you need some energy to exercise, but not all exercise requires huge amounts. There are certain exercises like Chi Gong, which is a very slow type of exercise and doesn’t significantly raise your heart rate. It can be done by everyone no matter how unfit you are. Remember, exercise does not have to be vigorous or strenuous. The main reasons for doing exercise, like Chi Gong is to stimulate your inner airway and move it around the body, toning the muscles and strengthening the organs.
Time certainly is a precious commodity these days in the fasted paced life we lead. We prioritise time accordingly to what it is we are trying to make time to do. The things that we have to do, like go to work or school, eating, shopping, meeting friends are all allocated some time, and the lesser important things are slotted in between. If you think you haven’t time to exercise it’s because you don’t realise how important exercise is. As I have said in this article, I hope you will appreciate the importance of exercising to put aside 1 hour every other day by the time you have finished this article. This will help you in so many ways.
Exercise isn’t just for the young. In fact as you get older you will probably benefit more from exercising than a teenager would. Obviously, if you are unfit it is important to start slowly, and to build up gradually. If your muscles haven’t been used to any exercise for a while they are going to feel a little sore and complain at first. It is better to start with some extremely light exercises or low pact exercise.
You can do your own home exercises or decide to go and do gym exercises, whichever fits in better with your time and lifestyle.
If after 2 days, you have experienced no discomfort, do the same exercises again and increase the weight, or the speed, or the duration by a small amount and wait again. Some very mild discomfort is o.k., and is what you should be aiming for. Keep increasing the effort slowly, as your energy increases, your muscle tone will improve. Remember, you are not trying to break any records. You are only concentrating on improving your own fitness. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Aim to achieve, a very small improvement every time. Keep a note-book, and write down what exercises you do, for how long, what weight you use and how many repetitions. Give yourself some encouragement. Every time you do some exercise or part of an exercise, better than you have done before give yourself a big star*, and feel good about what you have achieved.
Many people understand the importance of exercise but cannot commit themselves to starting. This procrastination is a subconscious prioritisation of order that you must do things by. This means that if you have a few jobs to do tomorrow, your subconscious mind gives each a level of importance. For some people it can be related to something that happened in their past, and has put a very low priority on exercising, and without knowing it they will always put most other jobs in front of exercising.
So let us look at what wonderful advantages these health related fitness exercises can do for you.
1. Cardiovascular improvement. Exercise will improve the efficiency with which you use oxygen. You will be able to absorb more oxygen as your heart and lungs are exercised and strengthened. Your resting pulse will lower because you will transport more oxygen around the body per beat of your heart. For more information about aerobic exercise, read our article called ”Aerobic Exercise – How to improve your body’s oxygen efficiency”.
2. Muscle tone improvement. You have not been given muscles to just put food and drink into your mouth, after you have bought it from the shops. The efficiency of your internal organs is directly related to your nervous system, and how well messages get from your brain to your organs and back again. In order for your nervous system to function correctly your skeletal system must be in balance and aligned with gravity. If you are overweight, with poor muscle tone, it is likely that your organs are not communicating with your brain correctly. The body begins to dysfunction, filling with toxins, and stiffens and deteriorates. Left unchecked this scenario is a self-perpetuating recipe for disaster.
I am not trying to be scare mongering. I am trying to tell you how important it is to keep your muscles toned and keep your skeletal system in the right place.
Yoga is a particularly good all round exercise which balances the body, mind and spirit.
Exercise is good for mobility. Exercise can help you to return to your ideal weight, which can obviously take considerable weight off your joints, but more than this it can help with the flexibility of the joints by promoting the elimination of toxins and the strengthening of ligaments and tendons.
Exercise increases your metabolic rate. In a single 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, where you raise your heart rate to 75% of the recommended maximum for your age, it has the effect of raising your metabolic rate for about 48 hours.
This is a great way to burn off those extra calories and lose weight or keep you trim. Numerous studies have shown that exercise and a healthy diet together, are the perfect combination for achieving effective weight loss and for maintaining your ideal weight. You will soon realise that this can, and will result in a permanent weight loss.
Exercise is wonderful for your circulation, encouraging the muscles to contract and relax, pumps blood more efficiently around the body, and helps alleviate the possibility of the blood pooling in the veins caused by long periods of standing still or sitting down.
Exercise encourages the building of muscle tone. Muscle tissue is heavier than fat tissue, but muscle tissue uses more calories than fat, so the more toned your muscles are the more calories your body will burn every day.
Exercising releases feel good hormones called endorphins. Once you get into a regular habit of exercising you will notice how you will feel better, during and after exercise. These hormones will raise your spirits and make you feel better and well again. These hormones are also natural pain killers and regular exercise will help remove those niggling aches and pains.
When you consider everything that exercising does for the body, you can understand how important it is for your health and mood. Your body will be in a better shape and you will have increased self- esteem and confidence. Your complexion will be in a better condition and your posture will be erect, thus alleviating back pain and any stiff back problems. You will overcome arthritis and your organs will function better.
Do yourself a big favour and begin exercising regularly today for your all round major health related fitness benefits. Yes today! Not tomorrow. In only a short time you will realise why people who exercise regularly don’t want to stop.