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Physical activity is an inclusive term that refers to any expenditure of energy brought about by bodily movement via the skeletal muscles. The distinguishing characteristic of exercise is that it is a structured activity specifically planned to develop and maintain physical fitness.
Exercise is the training of the body to improve its function and enhance its fitness. Exercise and physical activity are often used interchangeably, but this article will distinguish between them. Physical activity is an inclusive term that refers to any expenditure of energy brought about by bodily movement via the skeletal muscles; as such, it includes the complete spectrum of activity from deficient resting levels to maximal exertion. Exercise is a component of physical activity. The distinguishing characteristic of exercise is that it is a structured activity specifically planned to develop and maintain physical fitness. Physical conditioning refers to the development of physical fitness through the adaptation of the body and its various systems to an exercise program.
Benefits of Physical exercise
So what are the benefits of regular exercise? Not only can it give you more energy, but it can also improve your mood, help you sleep better and live longer (just to name a few). Here are some reasons why exercise is so important. In theory, most of us know that exercise is good for us. We know that it can help us lose weight or maintain our current weight.
Makes you feel happier: Who doesn’t love the rush of endorphins after a brisk walk or spin class? Endorphins are hormones that reduce pain and boost pleasure, creating a general feeling of well-being and positivity. So before you roll your eyes at your enthusiastic fitness instructor, consider how a steady state of endorphins does the body good. Endorphins also act as a natural painkiller and can help ease long-term aches. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles, lessening chronic pain and your risk of injury.
Gives you more energy: Physical activity increases your heart rate and gets your blood flowing. More oxygen and nutrients to your muscles mean higher energy levels. And although it seems odd that expending energy can actually give you more energy, science backs this claim up. One study found that 90% of people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to those who did not exercise. Next time you’re considering an extra cup of coffee to perk you up, try a walk instead.
Promotes quality sleep: Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety levels, leaving you feeling more relaxed and stabilised, which is a perfect zone for sleep. And while working out can also raise your body temperature and make you feel more alert throughout the day, it can also help you drift off better when your internal temperature starts to dip back down. If you exercise outside, exposure to vitamin D can also regulate your wake-sleep cycle. Just tread carefully with when you work out and how close it is to bedtime.
How often should you work out?
The current guideline for physical activity for adults is a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. But we all know that exercise and making it to the gym is easier said than done.
You can get exercise from the following activities:
Walking two miles in 30 minutes.Biking five miles in 30 minutes.
Swimming laps for 20 minutes.
Running one and a half miles in 15 minutes.
Doing water aerobics for 30 minutes.
Playing volleyball for 45 minutes.
Playing basketball for 20 minutes.
Jumping rope for 15 minutes.
Walking stairs for 15 minutes.
Washing your car for 45 minutes to an hour.
Gardening for 30 to 45 minutes.
Raking leaves for 30 minutes.
Dancing for 30 minutes.
Tip that can aid physical exercise
Find an exercise buddy. You’re less likely to ditch your workout if you know you’re meeting your friend at the gym. Finding someone to exercise with will help hold you accountable and chances are you’ll feel more committed.
Make it part of your routine. It takes most people two to six weeks to get into a pattern of regular exercise. And although the first couple weeks may be the hardest, the longer you do it, the more it becomes a part of your daily or weekly routine. Eventually, it will start to become normal to you, like brushing your teeth.
Schedule it. Leaving your workout up to chance is never a good idea. Dr. Kampert encourages people to get a physical wall calendar and schedule a couple of days each week when they’re going to exercise.
Find your reason why. For many people, an exercise program is all about losing weight. For others, it’s about becoming healthier to fight off disease. And for some, moving the body feels like therapy. Find your reason for why you do it. Then on hard days, when the last thing you want to do is move, dig into your reason and use it as motivation.
“If we could bottle up exercise, it’d be the best-selling pill in the world,” says Dr. Kampert.
So until then, it’s important that we put in the effort to move our bodies. In the end, we’re the only ones who can make the decision for ourselves, but the benefits are long-lasting.
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