Some people have concluded that they do not need to exercise because they are not overweight. Obese and overweight people stand to benefit greatly from a regular exercise program, but even if you are not overweight, an increase in physical activity its very likely to improve your overall health and help prevent serious diseases, including certain types of cancer. Also, studies have shown that physical activity can reduce anxiety and may even prevent depression. The fact is, many who are slim suffer from mental and emotional stress, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other conditions that are aggravated by a lack of enough exercise. Hence, whether you are overweight or not, if you lead a sedentary live, you do well to increase your level of physical activity. So the question is are you getting enough exercise? one does not need to spend the whole day or weeks in the gym for it to be enough.
What Is a Sedentary Life-Style?
A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle involving little or no physical activity. A person living a sedentary lifestyle is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socializing, watching television, playing video games, or using a mobile phone/computer for much of the day. How do you know if you are active enough? There are various opinions on what constitutes a sedentary live-style. However, most health experts agree on general guidelines that apply to most people. One explanation used by several health organizations is that you are sedentary if you:
- Do not exercise or engage in some vigorous activity for at least 30 minutes three times a week
- Have a job that requires little physical activity
- Rarely walk more than 100 yards during a day
- Remain seated most of your waking hours
- Do not move from place to place while engaging in leisure activities
If you are not getting enough exercise, today is probably the best time for you to start doing something about it. ‘But I just don’t have the time,’ you may say. When you get up in the morning, you are simply too tired. At the start of the day, you hardly have enough time to get yourself ready and get to your job. Then, after a long day, again you feel too tired to exercise and have too many other things to do.
Or perhaps you are among the many who start to exercise but quit after just a few days because they find it too strenuous, perhaps even feeling sick after exercising. Others shy away from exercise because they think that a good fitness program must include grueling routines of weight lifting, lengthy daily runs covering many miles, and carefully choreographed stretching sessions.
And then there is the expense and the perceived inconvenience. Joggers need suitable clothing and shoes. For strength training you need weights or special exercise machines. A sports-club membership can be costly. Travel to the gym can be time-consuming. Still, none of the above need prevent you from leading a physically active live and reaping the health benefits
Set Realistic And Achievable Goals
First of all, if you plan to start an exercise program, do not set unrealistic goals, set goals that is achievable. Start slowly, and work your way up. Scientists have recently acknowledged the value of light-to-moderate physical activity, and they recommend that sedentary people increase their activity gradually. For instance, you can start by adding a few minutes of increased activity to your day, and work up to 30 minutes most, and preferably all, days of the week.You can also add things like walking and taking the stairs, but just more often, a little longer, and/or a little faster.
If you are starting out new, you should focus on regularity rather than intensity. Once your strength and endurance have improved, you can work on increasing the intensity of the exercise. This can be done by incorporating longer sessions of more vigorous activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, stair climbing, or cycling. Eventually for a more well-rounded fitness program, you may even include some weight lifting and some stretching exercises. Many health experts, however, no longer subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” approach to exercise. So, to reduce the risk of injury and to avoid the burnout and discouragement that often lead to quitting, keep exercise at a comfortable level, that is to say what you can do.
Those who never seem to have time for physical activity would welcome a recommendation made by the Wellness Letter. It explains that “short bouts of exercise during a day have an additive benefit. That is, three 10-minute periods of exertion can be almost as beneficial as one 30-minute session.” Thus, you do not need to engage in lengthy periods of vigorous exercise in order to reap substantial health benefits. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that researchers have found that “light to moderate activity, as well as vigorous activity, was associated with a lower risk of experiencing coronary heart disease.”
But regularity is a must. With that in mind, you may want to look at your calendar and schedule specific dates and times for exercise. After a few weeks of a sustained exercise program, you will likely find that it has become a normal part of your live. Once you begin to enjoy the health benefits, you may actually look forward to your sessions of physical activity.
An Active Life Is a Better Life
While it is true that as little as 30 minutes of daily physical activity can have a positive impact on your health, according to the latest medical advice, more is better. It is now recommended that to maintain a maximal level of cardiovascular health, you should accumulate up to 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Again, this can be achieved by engaging in several brief sessions spread throughout the day. The journal Canadian Family Physician explains that “current recommendations call for an accumulation of up to 60 minutes of activity on a given day. For some health benefits, it does not appear to matter how the minutes of activity are accumulated.” This medical journal also states: “While several studies have documented that vigorous activity is associated with lower all-cause mortality, current emphasis is on promoting moderate activity.”
The bottom line is that our body is designed to move around and engage in regular physical activity. A sedentary live-style is harmful to our health. And there is no vitamin, medicine, food, or surgical procedure that can replace your need to remain active. Also, we must all face the fact that an adequate exercise routine, whether moderate or vigorous, whether done in short installments or longer sessions, requires time. Just as we make the time for eating and sleeping, it is vital that we also make the time to remain physically active. This involves self-discipline and good personal organization.
There is no hassle-free exercise program. However, the inconveniences and sacrifices involved in maintaining an active live-style pale into insignificance when compared with the live-threatening dangers of an inactive live-style. Stay active, break a sweat now and again, work those muscles—you might live a healthier and longer live! The benefits of adding exercise to our live-style out weighs the disadvantage. Granted, is not is easy with the busy live we live nowadays, but live is more important.
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Thank you for reading.