The importance of exercise cannot be over-emphasised.

It has been linked to good health. Apart from eating good food and taking fruits and vegetable, exercise is very important to keep the body healthy.

Exercise helps to control weight gain

Exercise helps control excessive weight gain and also maintains weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you lose weight. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

If you do not have time to do workouts, there are other ways you can exercise – use the stairs instead of the elevator; trek some short distance before your final bus stop etc.

Exercise helps prevents diseases

Regular exercise helps prevent diseases like stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and certain types of cancer. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Exercise helps to improve your appearance and delays the ageing process making you look fit and young. Studies show that being active can help boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides.

Exercise boosts energy

Exercise helps to boost energy levels in the body. Regular physical activity helps to improve muscle strength and boosts the body’s endurance. Exercise and physical activity supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and help the cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When the heart and lungs work more efficiently, there is more energy for daily activities.

Aerobic exercise which involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, improves the body’s strength by training the body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same volume of tasks. As the conditioning level improves, the heart rate and breathing rate return to resting levels much sooner from strenuous activity.

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Strengthens and tones muscles

Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training equipment develops the muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and vitality. It helps to tone and firm  up the muscles. It also helps improve the general appearance of the body.

Exercise promotes better sleep

Regular exercise enhances sleep quality; it helps one sleep deeply and soundly. However, exercise should be avoided close to bedtime.

Enhances Flexibility

Stretching exercises helps to keep the limbs and joints flexible thereby improving the body’s posture. Exercises keep your body lissome so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving agility through exercise reduces the chances of injury and improves balance and coordination. If there are stiff, tense areas in the body, such as the upper back or neck, performing specific stretches can help “loosen” those muscles, relieve pain and make you feel more at ease.

Exercise improves emotional well-being

Exercise could be a good way to relieve stress or let out negative emotions. Perhaps you need to cool off after a stressful day or let out anger, try some workouts at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk, you will be amazed at the results. Doing exercises stimulates various brain chemicals that make the body relaxed and makes one feel happier.

Exercise boosts sexuality

Studies show that men who exercise regularly are less likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who don’t. Also, because exercise leaves your body energised and makes you look better, this may be a big plus for your sex life.

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Aerobic exercises

If you are just starting cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, it is better to start with fewer sessions and increase them gradually as you become more consistent and experienced. Three days per week is alright and effective. For pregnant women, simple exercises like walking short distances, stretching etc are okay, nothing vigourous for this season. For experienced people, it is advisable to do aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging and bicycling for a maximum of 200 minutes per week and not more than 60 minutes per session.

Weight lifts

Weight lifts and training should not exceed three times per week targeting the same muscle groups. It is important to note that the same muscle groups should be exercised only on alternate days so as to give the muscles adequate time to rest since muscles cannot be effectively trained when tired or exhausted.

Stretching

Stretching can be done every day, but stick to a minimum of three times per week in order to reap the benefits. When the body is warmed up, such as after a workout session, you can perform 5 to 10 stretches that target the major muscle groups. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Exercise has a lot of health benefits for the body; as a general rule you should exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Making this regime consistent is when you can reap the health benefits attached to exercise.

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