We all have busy lives. Our schedules are cram packed and we are working harder than ever before. In our precious down time we enjoy the benefits brought to us by evolution. We dine in luxury restaurants, watch the latest cinema releases or try the trendiest cocktail bar. But where in these busy schedules do we take the time to look after our bodies, incorporating the ever needed exercise regimes?
Governments and health organisations labour on about the importance of exercise and this post is not meant as another health campaign. These are mere facts which will allow you to fully understand why exercise is so important.
Health officials suggest that we should be active for at least 150 minutes per week. This exercise should be of moderate intensity and split into time slots of 10 minutes or more. There are varying statistics which prove whether you should split your 150 minutes into larger of smaller sections but the conclusions are the same. Exercise is good. Whilst fitting 150 minutes into a busy schedule may seem daunting, a few simple changes can fulfil this easily. Moderate exercise is classified as anything which increases heart and breathing rates while causing a light sweat.
WHY IS EXERCISE GOOD FOR US?
Regular exercise has many health benefits. Some of which include:
- Increases energy levels – exercise increases strength and cardiovascular systems. These increased efficiencies allow our bodies to work better resulting in higher energy levels.
- Weight loss – we are no stranger to the idea that excess weight has health implications. Fat is burned during exercise. This results in weight loss.
- Higher concentration levels – exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain whilst releasing hormones. This combination improves learning and memory retention.
- Healthier body – as your body looks to increase oxygen levels it speeds up the rate of blood flow. This blood carries vital nutrients around the body which help fight disease.
- Better rest – physical activity makes you more tired, ensuring you sleep better.
- Happier mood and reduced stress – physical activity releases endorphins which make you more relaxed and reduce stress levels.
TYPES OF EXERCISE
- Aerobic. Aerobic activity is one of the most well known and common forms. Running, cycling and swimming are all forms of aerobic activity. Aerobic activity generally increases your heart rate and increases your endurance.
- Strength. Strength training makes your muscles stronger, i.e. lifting weights and resistance training are strength activities. Whilst strength training may not seem as beneficial as aerobic activity the body goes through spikes of increased heart rate when lifting.
Balance and flexibility are also types of exercise but have been excluded from here since they are not of moderate intensity.
HOW TO FIT EXERCISE INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Exercise need not be a daunting task and with a few small changes it can be easily achieved. Personally I enjoy the gym, I am fairly active throughout the day but really enjoy the down time which can be obtained through a workout. When I first started at the gym there were times I struggled to get myself to go but over time the gym has become a part of my routine. I generally go 3-4 times per week which I fit in during the evenings or at weekend. I purposely chose a gym with an adjoining health club. The thought of a relaxing sauna post session acts as an incentive to work harder.
If the gym isn’t for you find another way to fit it into your schedule. Try find ways to incorporate it with minimal change. For example:
- Get off the tube one stop early and speed walk home
- Go for a lunchtime run
- Use the treadmill while watching your TV series
- Take weekend family hikes
Exercising is a personal activity and should be tailored to you, Find things you find interesting, something which you look forward to and that motivates you to repeat.
STICK AT IT
The importance behind exercise is to stick at it, fit it into your routine and ensure it is consistent. Benefits are truly realised when the increases in heart and breathing rates are regular. Personally, setting targets helps me keep on track. I set myself realistic goals which are time dependant. This gives me something to work towards. If targets don’t work for you you could try buddying up, get a training partner and ask them to help keep you on track.
We wish you luck with your mission to staying healthy. If you have your own success stories or exercise routines please contact us. We would love to share your stories.