The Benefits Of Exercise
In discussing the benefits of exercise, it's important to remember that the term
'exercise' covers more than one type of activity. Exercise comes in many forms, but there are
only three types that you need to include in your weekly routine. Ron Swerdfiger explains in
his article titled The Importance Of An Active Lifestyle:
Over the past 15 years or so, we have been told that a healthy, active lifestyle is important.
Scientists recommend we should be accumulating on average 60 minutes of exercise a day in order to
maintain healthy levels. What exactly does that number mean? Over the course of a regular day, we
should be doing some sort of physical activity that adds up to approximately 60 minutes. Whether it
is in the gym on the treadmill or just in the garden for the afternoon, adding physical activity is
First we need to know what actually constitutes exercise. The term healthy activity can be broken
down in to three categories: cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility.
- Cardiovascular Training
It is recommended to do cardio 2 or 3 times a week. Depending on your fitness level, cardio can
consist of a nice walk with your dog or a vigorous run on the treadmill. Ideally you are trying
to increase your cardio capacity, which has many health benefits.
- Resistance Training
Part of living an active lifestyle is doing some sort of resistance training at least 2 times a
week. That doesn't mean you have to go to the gym and lift weights; you can easily do it at
home by doing movements as simple as pushups and sit-ups, or by using something like resistance
bands. Resistance training is just as important as cardiovascular activity and adds to your
overall physical health.
- Flexibility (Stretching)
After you exercise, it is recommended you stretch for roughly 10 minutes, holding each stretch
for 15-30 seconds. Stretching is crucial to maintain flexibility and reduce the chance of
injury from exercise.
Benefits Of Exercise
So now we know that working out is important, but what are the actual benefits of living an active
lifestyle? Below are just 5 of the countless benefits of being active:
As you can see, there are many excellent benefits to living an active lifestyle. By adding a
small amount of cardio, resistance training and some stretching to your daily routine, the overall
benefits are almost endless. Essentially, being healthy is about adding balance to your life. You
don't have to be a Lance Armstrong or a Venus Williams to be considered active. You just have to
add some extra activities to your daily routine.
- Reduces the risk of dying prematurely
Those living a healthy active lifestyle live longer compared those who are more sedentary.
- Lowers the risk of developing diabetes
Exercise keeps body fat under control and helps regulate sugar levels.
- Increases muscular strength
Having an increase in strength helps make daily activities less difficult.
- Helps reduce the risk of heart disease
Regular exercise strengthens the heart, respiratory system, and lungs, which aids in reducing
the risk of heart disease.
- Decreases body fat
Exercise, along with a balanced diet, will reduce body fat significantly.
About the Author:
For more great info on athletics, visit the women's
sports forum, a community to discuss women's sports and chat about female athletes. Or check
out Ron's article blog at http://ronswerdfiger.blogspot.com.
Circulated by Article
The benefits of exercise in each of these categories are cumulative. By working your body in each
of these ways you are building strength, endurance and flexibility, not to mention the increase in
your self-confidence. But, as always, to start enjoying the benefits of exercise you need to take
things one step at a time:
Walking twice a week and doing resistance training twice a week is more than enough for the
average person to start experiencing the benefits of exercise. Of course, if you're more physically
inclined, you can increase this, but studies have shown that there's not much difference in results
between performing an exercise twice a week versus 3 times a week. You'll reap the benefits of
exercise whichever schedule you use, but the bottom line is, if you're not exercising on a regular
basis, you need to make a start.
- Start small, perhaps with 5 minutes of stretching before and after a weekly 15-minute
- After a week or two, increase the walk to twice a week and extend your stretching time to
- Increase the walk to 3 times a week if practical.
- After you've established your walking routine (by Week 3 or 4), add in one session of
resistance or weight training.
- After 2 weeks, increase your resistance training to twice a week.
For more ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your life, click on Benefits of Exercise.
It's important that you consult with a qualified health professional before
embarking on any new dietary or exercise regimen.
Gathering information online is fine for research purposes, but you need a real
live professional to monitor your progress if you attempt to make drastic changes
to your lifestyle. Unless you're a health professional yourself, you aren't
equipped to objectively observe your body's responses to a new diet or exercise
program. So whatever your chosen course of action, please be sure you enlist the
support of a qualified professional.
Read our full Disclaimer here.