Are you wondering if exercise is really necessary?
Did you know that regular exercise boosts brain power, reduces heart disease risk, and lowers cholesterol levels? According to researchers, just one and half hours of physical activity per week can decrease your risk of premature death by over 20 percent, and the risk of diabetes by 39 percent.
An active lifestyle is the key to optimal health. Yet, its benefits are often overlooked.
Why Is Physical Activity Important?
Health experts recommend at least one hour and 15 minutes of intense physical activity each week, two and a half hours of steady state cardio, or a combination of both. More than 80 percent of Americans fail to meet these requirements. Less than five percent engage in 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Only one out of three children is physically active each day. Most kids spend over eight hours a day on front of the TV or the computer.
These numbers may seem shocking, but they reflect the truth. Obesity rates are on the rise mainly because of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.
While it’s true that you can get away without exercise, this may affect your health in the long run. Not only you’ll gain weight and lose muscle mass, but also experience memory decline, high cholesterol, decreased range of motion, joint stiffness, and depression.
Regular exercise helps maintain a normal weight, prevents cardiac events, and wards off chronic diseases. It also stimulates the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, which lifts your mood and improves mental health. Physically active people have a lower risk of breast, colon, endometrial, and lung cancer than those with a sedentary lifestyle.
They also live longer, have stronger bones, and find it easier to stay slim.
What Really Counts as Exercise?
Most people associate exercise with long cardio sessions, jogging, or strength training. Some hate these activities, or simply don’t have access to a gym. Others are too busy to commit themselves to a regular workout plan.
Is Exercise really necessary Yes, but the good news is that you don’t need a gym membership to stay active.
With a little planning, you can exercise anytime, anywhere.
Sports activities, such as hiking, swimming, baseball, soccer, tennis, and horseback riding, count as exercise. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees, jumping jacks, lunges and other body weight moves can replace most gym workouts.
If you don’t have a treadmill, go jogging or walk at a faster pace. Ride your bike around the house instead of using a stationary bike. If you really want to exercise, you’ll find a way to do it.
Regardless of what type of exercise you do, always watch your form.
Prevent injuries. If you lift weights, increase the load gradually. Ask a trainer for advice. Get enough rest and avoid training the same muscle group more than once in 36 hours. When you do cardio, stick to 30-40 minutes of exercise per session. Remember to eat well so that your body receives the nutrients needed for muscle growth and repair. If your goal is to lose weight, maintain a high protein intake and adjust your carbs along the way.
To your health!