There is an exercise season in my country. It’s a few weeks after the christmas season has ended and about one month before the two official days of carnival celebrations.
During that time, the streets of the country become littered with women walking and jogging to get into shape. The weight gained during the yuletide binge must be shed in time for J’ouvert. Plus that, they want to ensure that they are healthy for that period of abandon that takes over the country each year.
So the question arises, does exercise affect your health? Or is it just about weight watching?
January arrives and it dawns on them that the weight they gained would not allow them to fit into the skimpy costume they plan to wear that carnival. So they take to the streets.
God designed our bodies to work to maximum capacity and usefulness without breaking down. Sin led to breakdown, sickness and death.
In order that we should function at our best, some activities had to be maintained. One of them is exercise.
The circulatory system has been tasked with delivering nutrition rich oxygenated blood to every extremity of the body. The heart is the pump that keeps the cycle going.
When we exercise we strengthen our heart muscles. The increase in activity causes the brain to inform the heart that it must work harder to supply the energy needed to that part of the body that is most in need of it. The heart responds by contracting and releasing faster.
This simple activity provides the entire body with the needed oxygen and nutrients that are contained in the blood stream. The heart and the brain are also nourished.
Additionally, exercise also strengthens all the muscles in our body that are used. A muscle that is not exercised becomes weak and over time, useless.
Exercise also releases the chemical endorphin in the brain which leaves the individual with a ‘feel good” experience at the end of exercising.
People also exercise for other reasons.
Weight watching on your mind
Many people are motivated to exercise because they want to lose weight, maintain their present weight or develop certain parts of the body.
All these are good. However, exercise by itself, may not prove as effective for weight loss as one might hope. It should be combined with all the other aspects of health – positive thinking, nutrition, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest and trust in God – in order to see the best results.
However, in the effort to lose, maintain or gain weight our diet is probably the most critical thing. If we eat anything, at any time we feel like it, in any amount our stomachs can take, we cannot win the battle with weight gain. Our exercising will be futile and frustrating.
Some frustrated people make the wrong type adjustment and instead of being temperate in diet, they go to the next extreme and conclude that since they are unable to lose the weight they would eat whatever they feel like eating.
Here’s where the mind and determination to succeed becomes critical. Our response to the apparent lack of weight loss will determine to what extent exercise affect our health.
It is also counter-productive to exercise and lose weight to fit into a certain out fit and as soon as the event is over allow ourselves to lapse into the old way. Mentally it is defeatist.
So watch the weight but let your response to it be one that will benefit you all round.
Must you go to the gym
After having decided that you should lose some weight and confirming in your mind the type of diet that is best for you to accomplish that goal, the next step is; how should I exercise?
Today, when people think about exercising consistently, they think about doing so in a gym. For the person who needs to be motivated and have specific goals this is very good. A certified trainer can be of invaluable assistance to those who he oversees, especially if he combines the exercises with diet.
Some years ago, my son began complaining of pains in his back. Since he seldom exercised he was encouraged to do so as a part of his rehabilitation. He joined a gym and by the end of the second week he was passing blood. He later had to be hospitalized.
It was determined that the regimen on which he was placed resulted in the protein being broken down too fast in his body. Hence the bloody color of his urine. The instructor at the gym was not certified.
If you are unable to go to a gym for whatever reason, financial or lack of one in your vicinity, that is not an excuse to not exercise. It has been proven that walking is one of the best, if not the best, form of exercise.
Walking allows for the exercise of the entire body without placing focus on any one area. Let the arms swing freely while walking.
Thirty minutes of brisk walking – not too fast that you cannot speak, but not so slow that you can sing – per day would prove adequate in providing you with the minimum exercise needed for health.
If you have access to a pool, lake, sea or any other body of water that is safe for swimming, this is another good form of exercise. Its advantage over walking is that there will be less stress to the joints when in the water as may occur when walking.
Types of exercise
Some forms of exercise may not be appropriate for every one. It depends on your goals, especially if you are exercising in a gym. If you do not intend to build muscle mass it may not be wise to get into lifting heavy weights.
So, here are some types of exercise and what they do for your body:
- Swimming – also provides a full body exercise but with the added benefit of less trauma to the joints.
- Aerobic – increases heart rate and breathing. Strengthens the heart and helps increase lung capacity.
- Cycling – particularly good for the legs. May also help increase heart and lung fitness.
- Jogging – more stressful than walking especially on the joints. Provides similar benefits with added endurance capability.
It is advised that before every exercise session time be taken to warm up the body and stretch the muscles. At the end, time should be taken to cool down and stretch those muscles as you prepare them for relaxation.
This action will spare you many a body ache.
Great work guys
There is no doubt that exercise does affect our health positively. The heart is encouraged to work harder which improves its fitness. The lung is also forced to receive a greater amount of air, increasing its capacity.
As we exercise blood is forced to every extremity of the body, thus providing every cell with oxygen and nutrition. If we are eating healthy, then every cell will be properly nourished and our body be free from disease.
So if you are watching your weight and want to make sure that it is in harmony with your height, then exercise and eat wisely. They go together but does not mean that the other aspects of optimum health can be ignored.
Whether in the gym, pool or the park, get those muscles moving, heart pumping, lungs expanding and blood flowing through your veins and arteries.
Experience the satisfaction at the end of your workout as endorphins are released in your brain. Your body will rewarded you.
Great work guys!