The topic of obesity has been thrashed now in our last 3 posts. So, the topic of exercise is an offshoot that we realize needs to be properly elucidated.
Some believe that exercise is the sole purview of those who are overweight or obese. This is absolutely untrue. Exercise does so much more than helping lose weight. Exercise, in whatever shape or form, improves your metabolism, healing, mental alertness and many other benefits as listed below:
Picture, in your mind’s eye, this with me: Imagine your blood vessels opening up, sending increased blood to those organs in your body – heart, lungs, brain, kidney, liver, spleen, stomach, intestines etc. Blood carries oxygen, nutrients, hormones, antibodies and other elements that are an absolute necessity to smooth body function. Exercise increases the efficiency of this process.
(I referenced the stomach above so humor me. FUN FACT: The stomach is the primary receptacle for food you eat and is located in the top left part of your abdomen. The abdomen has 9 parts and the stomach occupies only one part. Next time, when you want to refer to that space between the lower part of your chest and your pelvis, the appropriate terminology is “abdomen”, not stomach)
In summary, this is what exercise does for you:
- Increases blood flow to organs
- Stretches muscles you do not use in your regular day to day activities
- Mental alertness
- Keeping in shape. As the entire world already knows 😂, exercise burns excess calories. When your output is greater than input, your weight inevitably drops. I need to stress here also that being slim does not automatically mean you are fit
- Improved cognitive functions
- Excretion of toxins through the skin through the act of sweating
- Speed up metabolisM
(Image from University Of Illinois, research)
Importantly, let’s not assume that gyming and exercise are the same thing. Gyming comes under the “exercise” umbrella. Another frequent question is whether your daily activities can be exercise. The answer is yes. No doubt, climbing staircases is a form of exercise. For those who work in a building 20 floors up without a working elevator, and need to move around frequently, 🙆😨 all I can say is, “safe journey“. LOL!
(If this little guy can do it, so can you)Thank God for YouTube and other online videos that help individuals identify what kind of exercise is good for them and how frequently they should exercise. On average, deliberate exercise should be done for at least 30minutes at a stretch 3/4 times weekly. Everyday, if you can manage it. Exercise type varies. Some stretch your muscles and increase flexibility, some increase endurance, some build up muscle mass etc
Please consult your doctor if you have a chronic ailment like heart, lung or kidney diseases. There have been many cases of over-enthusiastic exercising leading to heart attacks and strokes. If you are in this category, there are exercises tailor made for you.
We would not be able to go into the specific exercises appropriate for age, body type and underlying conditions today but will delve into the topic sometime soon so stay connected to our blog and wait for it. 😉
If you have any comments or contributions on today’s topic, be quick to comment or send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be glad to read from you and answer all your questions.
Author: Dr. Lola Odubitan, MBBS