Staying Healthy III
Fitness….Let’s Move More!
Health and wellbeing is the greatest asset anyone can have. Without physical health and mental wellbeing, you are unable to perform optimally at home or out in the community. One of the sure ways of staying in health is adopting an effective and meaningful physical exercise regimen all through the week. Regular physical activity is a highly beneficial lifestyle change you can adopt to achieve and maintain both short and long-term health benefits.
Not only does it produce short term benefits, such as improvement in your mood, and giving you a burst of energy to last the whole day long; but long-term, it also reduces the risk of developing any of the chronic diseases such as hypertension (persistently raised blood pressure), diabetes, obesity and overweight, to mention but a few.
The health benefits of regular physical activity apply to children and adults of all ages and social groups and to patients with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Many people who are already obese or overweight live in denial and claim they are quite satisfied with the way they are. The truth of the matter is that apart from the cosmetic effect of being unable to fit into the kinds of clothes and shoes you may desire, the health consequences are numerous. Obesity and overweight put you at increased risk of all types of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, gall bladder disease, arthritis in the weight bearing joints (e.g. spine, hips, knees), depression, low self-esteem, certain sleep disorders.
Therefore, it is advisable and indeed the sensible thing to do to lose weight in a healthy manner so that you can prevent these diseases.
Any lifestyle improvement is valuable, but exercise alone, without dietary changes will be ineffective in many people.
Exercise, without dietary changes may maintain current weight but will not lead to significant weight loss or indeed reversal of lifestyle diseases such as atherosclerosis ( when plagues build up in your blood vessels due to abnormal cholesterol and abnormal vessel walls).
Exercise is therefore most effective when it is done as part of a comprehensive lifestyle change that includes an ideal nutrition prescription, preferably a plant based nutrition package, stress management, optimal sleep pattern, and other scientifically proven effective interventions.
Losing weight is simple!
Eat Less, Move More!
Everyone who has made up their mind to begin to make this seriously beneficial lifestyle change of regular physical exercise should have an initial fitness assessment. Based on the result of their assessment, an initial exercise prescription should be given by the doctor.
This fitness assessment will include basic assessment measures such as flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance and some other parameter that may be needed depending on every individual’s medical history. Exercise prescriptions are individualized according to the results of their fitness assessment and other agreed guidelines. Once you get going with your regular exercise regimen, periodic assessment to measure your progress towards fitness goals and to update exercise prescription will be done. This of course will depend on the individual needs and the program structure.
On a practical note, once your fitness assessment is completed and you are ready to start, there are a few things to put in place to ensure a successful outcome.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR INITIATING AND SUSTAINING AN EFFECTIVE EXERCISE REGIMEN.
Remember while you increase your level of activities, you must reduce your caloric intake. Ask your doctor for advice on how to go about this. A referral to a dietician/Nutritionist is a great idea
Write out a list of your goals
Make up your mind to go all the way in achieving your desired goals
Get yourself some very nice exercise outfits; including a pair of good trainers. Sometimes, even the very thought of how nice your outfit is will motivate you to get on with your exercise for the day
Determine to do at least the minimum required time and intensity so that you can actually see the changes you desire. Aim at surpassing the minimum required time.
Find a couple of friends or relatives who you can trust to encourage you on this new journey. Tell them about it and chat with them from time to time about your successes and struggles. Hopefully, your successes will outnumber your struggles
Listen to your body and stop exercise if you develop pain in any part of your body while exercising
Get at least 7-8 hours of night time sleep
Set aside a regular time of the day, depending on your schedules and keep to it
Remember this is a lifestyle change and only a regular and sustained exercise routine will produce results that last
Never give up even when the going gets tough. Remember “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.
Whether you are a child, adolescent, adult or older adult, the health benefits of an effective exercise routine is enormous.
The physical activity recommendations differ between these age brackets. What is common across all age groups is a combination of both aerobic, bone and muscle strengthening activities. Their intensities and frequency will differ.
Aim to have a minimum of between 30 – 60 minutes of physical exercise, 4- 6times a week. While it is ideal to do a prescribed exercise regimen, any exercise is better than none. Avoid inactivity; some activity is better than none.
As you prepare to make this lifestyle change or to maintain this lifestyle change (if you are already on this path), remember to …
Eat Healthy! Let’s Move More!!