There is little that is more detrimental to your physical and mental health than a lack of exercise. While we are all familiar with the expression “Use it or lose it”, this is particularly true as refers to exercise, especially in older people.
A sedentary lifestyle has replaced ones that involved a good deal of physical labor – men and women in an agrarian or hunting and gathering society must get a certain amount of exercise just to provide for a living.
Today, many of us sit in front of a computer for hours on end, often in a stuffy cubicle, and by the end of the day simply want to plop down and relax as we are mentally exhausted. However, an attitude like this can lead to a number of health problems that exercise can help with:
- Exercise helps to relieve tension and stress.
- Weight loss is easier when you exercise.
- Exercising can provide relief from depression.
- The immune system is strengthened.
- Blood circulation improves.
- Lung function becomes stronger.
- Brain function is enhanced, meaning that you’ll be smarter.
- Increases endurance so that you will not tire easily.
- Getting sufficient exercise can beat insomnia.
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see how fitting in some exercise at least 3 or 4 times a week can help you from top to toes. Try one of these techniques to get some exercise, regardless of how busy you may be.
- If you have a dog, start taking longer walks with him or her. Most dogs will really enjoy taking a 30 minute walk with you every day, and it will improve your dog’s health as it improves yours.
- Those who live within a reasonable distance from their workplace should consider either walking or bicycling to work whenever the weather permits. A walk of a mile will only take about 15 minutes and if you use a bike, it will be even less.
- You don’t need to join a gym and spend hours working out to benefit from exercise – taking the time for several short exercise sessions either in your home or at a fitness center can provide positive results without interfering with your schedule.
- Getting up a little earlier in the morning to exercise may be difficult, but you’ll feel more alert and you will probably not notice cutting half an hour off your sleep, especially if you get into bed a bit earlier at night.
- Prying yourself away from the television screen or a video game to exercise will get you off your rear and give your health a boost. As you have probably been sitting down all day already, exercising will be a nice change.
- If you have a long enough lunch break, use it to get in a bit of midday exercise. You’ll feel a bit more active during the rest of the workday. A brisk walk around the block will help sharpen your appetite as well as invigorate you.
- Those of you with children, start taking part in their outdoor activities. Contrary to belief, most kids will enjoy doing activities with their parents and playing games with the kids or going on hikes is a great way to get exercise in a fun way.
- You can even have a ‘sedentary exercise session’ right at your desk if you substitute your chair for a stability ball, or if you use a pedal exerciser. Both of these devices will help you work out while you work.
Adding some exercise to your life painlessly is easy if you just take a bit of effort to make the time to do so. Try some of the above methods and see if you don’t feel peppier and look trimmer before you know it.