To be healthy, people need to be active. Our modern lifestyle and all the conveniences we have become used to have made us sedentary, which is dangerous for our health. This sedentary life increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and coronary diseases.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICING EXERCISE
For health benefits to the heart, lungs, circulatory system and to feel better, perform physical activity daily for 60 minutes. These 60 minutes are to be distributed over the day for a minimum of 10 minutes each time.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be very hard to improve our health. This goal can be reached by building physical activities into our daily routine. Just add it up in periods of at least 10 minutes each throughout the day. After three months of regular physical activity, we will notice a difference.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
1. Helps the heart work more efficiently during exercise and at rest.
2. Improves muscular strength and increase endurance.
3. Improves joint flexibility.
4. Prevents the risk factor of coronary diseases such as high blood pressures, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, back pain, gout, stress and rheumatism.
5. Improves self-esteem, feeling of well-being and self-confidence.
EXERCISE FOR ALL
Exercise is the most important activity that should be practiced at various stages of life starting from childhood to elderly, female or male. The only difference is the kind of exercise ad the duration. This depends on the individual's age, sex and fitness.
EXERCISE IN CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH
Practicing sport activities during youth and childhood stages are especially important because the body is continuously growing. The body needs exercise to ensure that the muscles, bones, heart, lungs and all other vital organs are growing naturally and properly. Swimming is very useful exercise in this stage of life because the organized movements while swimming reinforce the growth of the youth from the physical, mental and physiological points of view and increase self-confidence, appreciation and the sense of achievement.
EXERCISE FOR ELDERLY
Researchers have confirmed that doing exercise increase longevity among the elderly. Older adults can gain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily. Physical activity need not be strenuous to bring health benefits. What is important is to include activity as part of the regular routine.
Walking, for example, is an excellent activity to start with. As you become used to exercising, or if you are already active, you can slowly increase the intensity of your exercise program.
Older adults should consult their physicians before starting a new physical activity.
EXERCISE FOR PREGNANT LADIES
Health woman with normal pregnancies should exercise at least three times a week after consulting with the doctor. Swimming and water aerobics may be the best option for most pregnant women, since it strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, back, pelvic and thighs. Walking is also very highly beneficial exercise during pregnancy as it strengthens the pelvic muscle.
The three elements of fitness are Endurance, Flexibility and Strength
Endurance activities (4-7 times a week)
Endurance activities help your heart, lungs and circulation system stay healthy and give you more energy.
Exercises that help you improve your endurance are:
• Yard and garden work
The safest ways to carry endurance exercises are:
• Begin with light activities and progress to moderate and vigorous activities later.
• Use comfortable footwear.
• Wear comfortable clothing that suits your activity.
• Wear safety gear (helmet for cycling and in link skating, along with knee, elbow and wrist protectors).
Flexibility activities: (4-7 times a week)
Flexibility activities help you to move easily, keeping your muscles relaxed and your joints mobile.
Regular flexibility activities can help you live better, longer, so that your quality of life and independence are maintained, as you get older. Flexibility activities include gentle reaching, bending and stretching of your entire muscle group.
Exercises that help you improve your flexibility are:
• Stretching exercises
• Mopping he floor
The safest ways to carry flexibility exercises are:
• Start with five minutes of light activities (easy walking) or do stretching after endurance r strength activities.
• Stretching should be done slowly and smoothly.
• Continuous light movement or relaxation with normal breathing. This should be carried for 10-30 minutes. The aim of these exercises is to relax and to avoid pain.
Strength activities: (2-4 times a week)
Strength activities help your muscles and bones stay strong, improve the posture and help to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, back pain and muscular pain. Strength activities are those that make muscles against some kind of resistance.
Exercises that help you improve your strength are:
• Weight / strength training routines.
• Climbing stairs
• Heavy house work
• Carrying things
• Exercises for abdominal muscular strength.
The safest ways to carry strength exercises are:
• Start with 5 minutes of light endurance and flexibility activities at the beginning of each session.
• Learn proper technique of weight lifting to protect your back and joints from undue stress.
• Breathe regularly while doing the exercises.
• Rest for at least one day between strength training sessions.
Planning your physical exercise program
Before starting any program:
1. Make a plan.
2. Carry a routine medical check up.
3. Start the program slowly with 5-10 minutes the first few times and then increase the length of your work until you reach 30 minutes.
4. Get a partner. Exercising with someone else can make it more fun.
5. Choose a comfortable time of day. Don’t work out if it is too hot or too humid outside.
6. Choose something you like to do. Make sure it suits you physically, too.
7. Consult before you start.
In addition, there are some factors that contribute to your program:
• Having enough sleeping.
• Eating healthy food
• Avoiding tension and anxiety.
HOW TO CHECK THE PULSE (HEART RATE)
Your pulse is lower when you are at rest and increases when you exercise.
You gain the most benefits and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate (pulse) is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Count the beats you feel for 10 seconds. Multiply this number by 6 to get your heart rate (pulse) per minute.
There are two ways to measure the pulse rate:
1. Place the tips of your index, second and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist, below the base of the thumb.
2. Place the tips of your index and second fingers on your lower neck, on either side of your windpipe.
CHECK YOUR READINESS TO EXERCISE
• Do you have a heart condition or you have had a stroke and your doctor recommended only medically supervised activity?
• Do you have pains or pressure in the left or mid chest area during exercise?
• Did you develop any chest pain within the last month even if you are not exercising?
• Do you tend to lose consciousness or fall or due to dizziness?
• Do you suffer any bones, joint or muscle problems?
• Did your doctor recently prescribed for you any medication?
• Are you forbidden to exercise for any reason?
If you answered yes o any these questions, you should consult your doctor before starting your program.