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Exercise for health

Some exercise is good, more is better for health

Enough has already been said about the health benefits of keeping yourself physically active. But the indolent nature of modern lifestyle means that being reminded of the beneficial effects of physical exercises is always worth the effort. Accommodating some exercises during your daily routines won’t cost you much. But if you allow the humdrum of life to veer you to a lazy stupor, you will have to contend with preventable diseases, and may be end up shortening your lifespan.

But what really is the value of exercises? The main benefit is linked to metabolic control, maintaining an optimal balance in the way the body utilizes and stores energy. You also build strength and balance of your bones and muscles, and keep your weight in check. This translates into cardio-metabolic benefits, keeping you away from heart and other related diseases like diabetes. Further downstream there are benefits with psychological well-being, better respiratory health, lower rates of cancer, better immunity and much more.

The full benefits of physical activities are accrued with intense exercises. This has been defined as 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. A combination of the two will do, all spread out during the week. But it has been accepted that not everyone will be able to accommodate intense activities, hence the drive to recommend viable alternatives. Short chunks of physical activities will do, like five minute walks every so often. As a general rule, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily will do. But any amount of activity is better than none at all.

You have no excuses for staying inactive. It should be pretty obvious that you don’t require to fork out huge sums for gym memberships in order to exercise. If you can afford a fancy gym membership, well and good. If you cannot, just be creative every day, and you’ll achieve the minimum required level of physical activity to keep you healthy. Use every excuse to walk, take the stairs and avoid elevators, do menial house chores yourself, and stretch out with some weights for the sake of your muscles and bones. Whatever you do, however minimal, will all add up to some health benefits.

Beware exercises alone will not guarantee optimal health. You must also eat healthier, avoid toxins, be up to date with health screening, and get persistent symptoms checked out pronto. Optimal health is a multi-faceted approach, with all the combination of actions summating to a desired health status. There are really no secrets to health. Once you crack it, and always take the healthy path as your default, your longevity is almost guaranteed. And you will live and enjoy most of your life in a disease-free state.


Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist.amurage@mygyno.co.ke

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