Exercise doesn’t only work out your heart and muscles it works out practically every other part of your body too. From your bones, to your brain, to your metabolic system – it truly is the panacea for all ills.
15 Benefits of exercise
1. Aid in Weight loss.
2. Preventing Osteoporosis
3. Lowering High blood pressure and helps to protect against heart attacks
4. Helps to lessen stress, minimize anxiety and treat depression
5. Improves the immune system, decreasing frequency of colds
6. Improves respiratory illness including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
7. Prevents the onset and reduces complications of diabetes
8. Helps to reduce cholesterol levels
9. Prevents the effect of aging on the body
10. Helps to improve concentration, promote memory and prevent dementia
11. Improves your sex life, heightens libido and prevents erectile dysfunction
12. Optimises sleep
13. Prevents stroke
14. Promotes muscle strength, flexibility and balance
15. Improves the symptoms of arthritis
So if now we know why Exercising is good for you, but how do we start to DO it?
10 Top Tips for Optimal Exercising
1. Do what you Enjoy
Enjoy the exercise you are doing, remember that your commitment to physical activity is for the long term so it should not be an onerous task, but something you look forward to.
2. Work to your Strengths
Tailor your exercise to your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have a running frame, or would you be better in a pool? Are you talented in a particular sport or do you prefer solo workouts? Do you have a particular physical vulnerability that prevents you from a particular exercise? Work to your strengths, avoid weaknesses.
3. Pace yourself
Gradually increase your intensity and frequency over time. Start slow and work your way up. You don’t want your initial enthusiasm to cause a premature injury. You should be out of breath or sweating to gain the most from your exercise. A stroll on the promenade does not count.
4. Choose a routine
Exercise as early as possible. The earlier you exercise the less likely you are to find reasons not to do it later. What’s more, early morning exercise has a greater ability to promote mood than evening exercise. It may be however, that it suits you better to excercise in the evenings. What’s most important is that you go ahead and just do it.
5. Grab all opportunities to be physically active
Incorporate exercise into your everyday life. Take every opportunity you can to be physically active. Walk from your car parked further away, take the stairs, carry your shopping bags, buy a push lawnmower, and walk briskly whenever you can.
6. Benefit from the motivation of others
Take on a personal trainer or join a group. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator. The stimulation and social contact with others will improve your motivation and challenge you to expand your goals.
7. Integrate Exercise into your normal everyday life
Make your excercise routines a non-negotiable integrated part of your life. It should fit into your regular daily schedule so that you do it automatically as part of your week.
8. Avoid undermining yourself
Be aware of your inner excuse-making machine. Don’t listen to the voice inside which conveniently finds reasons not to exercise. If you hear the little voice saying that … today you are too tired, you don’t have time, the weather is bad, tomorrow is more convenient … then you know that you are putting up obstacles to your own well being…remember – Just Do It.
9. Set Goals
Set yourself goals, be it to complete a half marathon, swim 100 laps, play 2 games of tennis a week or to ride the Argus. Set up scores, pin notes on your fridge and draw up graphs recording your progress. You will soon be taking pride in your achievements and develop a self-invested reason to meet the challenges you have set for yourself. Be your own coach.
10. Mix it up
Vary your routine. Do different types of exercise, for example add in a swim, a run or a walk up the mountain. We are blessed in Cape Town with a variety of wonderful outdoor environments in which to exercise. Mix it up, preserve interest and banish boredom.
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