Our Bodies Were Meant to Move
Our bodies were meant to move — they actually crave exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.
When you exercise, your body uses energy to keep going. Aerobic exercise involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, such as walking and bicycling. It improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work. As your conditioning level improves, your heart rate and breathing rate return to resting levels much sooner from strenuous activity.
Anaerobic exercising involves weights and other forms of resistance training to develop your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become more firm and toned.
Stretching exercises are also important for your body. They keep your body limber so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving your flexibility through exercise reduces the chance of injury, improves balance and coordination, and supports good posture. If you have stiff, tense areas, such as the upper back or neck, performing specific stretches can help “loosen” those muscles helping you feel more relaxed.
Once you begin to exercise regularly, you will discover many more reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. Exercise reduces stress, lifts moods, burns calories, and helps you sleep better. It can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily tasks:
- Stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email
- Watch TV or listen to an audio-book while you work out
- Wash your car
- Park further away from your destination
- Plan social activities (like hiking) with your friends and family
- Get a friend to be your workout buddy (becomes great intentional hangout time)
Staying motivated is challenge many of us face. Besides incorporating exercise into your life, keep track of your progress. Use a log or a fitness tracker to see your progress, set goals. Also, mix things up a little bit – if you stick with just one type of exercise, you might get bored. Try doing a combination of activities to keep yourself engaged and motivated.
Please note: more exercise is not always better. Doing too much too soon or performing intense exercises on a daily basis will have deleterious effects, such as muscle/tendon strains, loss of lean tissue, and fitness-level plateaus. Increase gradually as your body adjusts.
Prism Health North Texas | South Dallas Health Center