So let’s talk about physical activity shall we? How much of it do you get in a week? Is it something you prioritize or is it a once in a while thing?
I personally had always looked at exercise as a means to lose weight and get in shape. We are such visual beings right? It had always been for vanity’s sake rather than to better my health. One workout here, another there. It was never something I committed to. Until….I entered my forties!
If we want to age gracefully, we need to make some form of physical activity a part of our daily routine. At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day is best.
What does moderate physical activity comprise of?
Moderate physical activity can mean swimming, brisk walking, badminton, playing doubles tennis and biking.
This is not to say that you have to do any of these exercises to reap the benefits of exercise. You can lift weights, do cardio or even power yoga. The best way to implement a habit is to do something that you enjoy. Granted, exercise may not be at the top of that list but making it enjoyable ensures that we stick with it. And remember, some physical activity is better than none.
Here are a few reasons why physical activity is important:
It builds stronger bones
By age thirty we reach the peak of our bone mass but bone loss can be prevented by regular exercise. Exercise improves coordination, maintains muscle mass and balance which in turn helps prevent falls and fractures.
The best exercises to maintain bone strength are the weight- bearing kind. e.g yoga, walking, running, strength training etc. where the body is forced to work against gravity. Swimming and bicycling are not ideal examples since they don’t exercise your bones.
It has great cardiovascular benefits
The number one killer of women is heart disease. By exercising regularly one can lower their risk of heart related illnesses tremendously. Regular exercise also lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.
It helps maintain weight
Healthy eating habits and a regular exercise regimen will help keep you in shape and lose weight.
It aids in detoxification
Vigorous exercise induces sweat which is essential for detoxification. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, sweating is a good way to rid your body of toxins. These can be from the environment, internal like bacteria, fungus and yeast or emotional such as stress.
It boosts energy and improves mood
A study conducted by The University of Georgia found that otherwise sedentary adults experienced a boost in energy levels by 20% and a drop in fatigue by 65% simply by including low intensity exercise into their routine.
It is not only beneficial for the body but also psychologically. Evidence now suggests that regular exercise is extremely effective in treating anxiety and depression and has also helped patients suffering from schizophrenia.
It improves sex drive
With life the way it is, especially for busy moms, this is an added bonus of getting that workout in. We complain of fatigue and never being in the mood, well get into an exercise routine and report back here if that hasn’t helped!
I invite you to begin a regular exercise regimen. It can be low to medium intensity and even just a 30 minute brisk walk with your spouse. Make a commitment today and stick with it! And come back here and tell me how it worked for you! Oh and please share this with friends and family you feel need a nudge in the right direction!