Tuesday , 31 January 2023


By Bernice James

Men and women in this part of the world find it difficult to get up from seats, walk comfortably more erect or board vehicles  after they have crossed the age of 40.  They need body flexibility through exercise.

Exercise is also called physical activity or bodily activities.  Far beyond weight management, exercise can go a long way to reducing your risk of contracting several diseases and health conditions and thus, is a tonic for improving your overall quality of life.  Moreso, exercise increases ones, physical fitness thus, helps you enjoy life the more.

Physical fitness is the ability to carry out your day to day activities without undue fatigue and still have reserved energy to attend to emergency activities.  A typical African man or woman believes that exercise is for children or sportsmen and women.  That is why disease conditions that have to do with arteries, veins and bones are rampant in this part of the world. At 50, a woman’s veins have grown bad beyond repair, while in the Western countries at 70, life is still good and sweet for the elderly. A friend of mine came back from Europe and made a comment that made me laugh for about five minutes.  He asked why is it that it was just few people that he saw each morning he went on jogging?  He further said that if it were to be in Europe, old men and women go out for exercise.  They see it is as part of their daily activities.  They see it is as part of their daily activities.

This makes them fit to go about their daily activities and enjoy their existence.  Your occupation or business should not interfere with your exercise.  Whether you are a house wife, pregnant / lactating mother, exercise, experts recommend that about 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times in a week will improve your health tremendously.

If you have not been doing exercise and you wish to start, you may start with less strenuous activities such as walking, dancing, swimming, jogging at a comfortable pace.  Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body.  Once your body becomes tuned, you can gradually do more strenuous activities.

All exercises must not be strenuous.  There are different types of exercise e.g. warm up exercise, less strenuous and strenuous exercise.  Warm up exercises are exercises carried out before engaging in a strenuous exercise.  Football is an instance playing games like football, races, basketball.  According to a football coach, ‘a warm up exercise helps a footballer to get his/her muscles and bones flexible, well enough to face the main activity.  He maintained that it gets the body properly tuned up, ready for work and thus, prevent unnecessary injuries.

Women need exercise as much as men.  According to Mrs Chineze Ikwueze a civil servant: ‘I cannot do without exercise.” She says she spends at least 15 minutes days.  She says that sometimes, after giving food to her children, as the children are eating, she goes out to take her exercise.  That is the secret of my shape and stature.

Exercise has a lot of health benefits.  A person who exercises often has a reduced risk of dying prematurely from heart attack. Exercise reduces the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer etc.  It also reduces blood pressure in those whose blood pressure is already high, reduces depression and anxiety, controls weight loss, maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints, as well as promotes psychological well-being.

Other Benefits of Exercise

Exercise helps to prevent a host of diseases especially diseases that have to do with the blood, bones and veins.  Such diseases include:

Heart Disease and Stroke: Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart’s working capacity.

High Blood Pressure: Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity also reduces body fatness, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes: By reducing body fatness, physical activity can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.

Obesity: Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

Back Pain: By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Osteoporosis: Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with ageing.

Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways  by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.

Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

Exercise boosts energy

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

Exercise promotes better sleep

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

It improves your social life.

Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.

In choosing the exercise to engage in you should consider factors like: age, sex, weight, size, health condition etc. Examples of exercises one can engage include jogging, pull-ups, sit-ups rope skipping, sergeant jump, run-walk indoor exercise can help you save time and space.  A twenty minutes rope skipping in your parlour is a great work.  Start off today.  Make sure you work your system to a sweat each day and bet you, your life quality will improve.

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