Physical exercise has many amazing benefits to the health and well-being of human beings. It helps keep our weight levels healthy, it increases our strength and fitness, and it helps us keep healthy for longer going into our old age.
One of the great things about exercise and fitness is that it’s never too late to get into it. Many people take up an exercise regime in their middle or old age when they start to feel that their body is slowing down or starting to gain weight more easily.
Others, unfortunately, allow their health and fitness to deteriorate because they don’t take up any form of exercise. This is especially problematic in the case of people whose diet is not particularly healthy.
Here we’re going to talk about the importance of taking up an exercise to stay active and what can be done to motivate people to do this.
Everyone should stay physically active in their lives, but the necessity for exercise varies depending on an individual’s diet. People who have high calorie intake through the consumption of fattening foods or alcohol are more at risk of becoming overweight and unhealthy in the absence of physical exercise.
When the body consumes more calories than it needs to in order to take us through our daily lives, one of three things can happen: the body stores the excess calories as fatty tissue and makes a person gain weight, with weight training exercises the body can convert the excess calories into muscle (this is how body-building works), or with aerobic exercises the body can burn off the excess calories and prevent a person from gaining weight.
Body-building to convert calorie surplus into muscle is a different topic for another day. Here we’re going to focus on using aerobic exercise to burn calories and why it’s important that everyone does this in their lives, especially as they get older.
Aerobic exercise, also called cardiovascular exercise, works by stimulating the heart and lungs in order to accelerate the flow of oxygen to muscles through the bloodstream. This has several beneficial effects: it strengthens the heart and lungs, tones muscles, burns excess calories, lowers cholesterol, strengthens the immune system, lowers one’s blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Despite these many health benefits, many people unfortunately do not make a serious attempt to engage in aerobic exercise throughout their lives, especially not in their middle or old age. This inevitably increases the risk of them developing health problems.
If our society can encourage as many people as possible to adopt any of these exercises and stick with them, we can save our National Health Service a great deal of money by reducing the number of cases of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health issues arising from an unhealthy lifestyle which it has to deal with.
While it’s true that some people simply can’t be bothered to do any exercise, many others are aware of its importance but don’t do any because they’re not sure how to get started or are put off by some sort of fear or insecurity.
Dean Henderson, head of exercise to music courses at Discovery Learning, tells us: “studies and surveys show that the majority of people who take up exercising after having gone through their entire adult lives without it, tend to be surprised at how easy and fun it is, and elect to keep going or take it even further.”
Society has made great strides in providing the population with ways and means to get into exercise. There are local gyms everywhere with facilities and classes available in the common forms of aerobic exercise.
There are exercise campaigns targeted at specific population groups, such as This Girl Can, which has so far managed to get more than a million women exercising for the first time in their lives by helping them to overcome the fear of judgement that deters many women from taking part in things like sports.
The UK government has in recent years launched a scheme that pays for obese people to undergo personal training sessions in an attempt to reverse their condition and prevent them from developing type 2 diabetes.
These are all great things, but we cannot forget that ultimately it’s up to each of us individually to make the effort to get involved with exercise.
No matter how busy we are with work or family, or whatever our financial situation may be, there are always ways we can engage in aerobic exercise. Thirty minutes of running around the local park two or three times a week or cycling to and from work every day will keep a person who already has a reasonably healthy body in shape.