Exercise Workouts / Category / Emile Du Toit / May 5th 2014
In modern society we choose to kill ourselves!
We live in a world where advances in medicine mean that we seldom die from the acute infectious and parasitic illnesses of the past. This means that most of our health issues tend to concern our body slowly deteriorating until we develop whichever chronic illness eventually kills us. A gloomy thought? Possibly.
In today’s world our level of health is now largely controlled by ourselves, not external factors. And yet sadly our response to this appears to treat our bodies as poorly as we possibly can.
Levels of exercise are on the decline just calorie consumption continues to rise. Too many people in society continue to prematurely bring on illnesses, despite the plethora of knowledge freely available on the internet that they are slowly killing themselves.
A high percentage of people (particularly) in 1st world countries are hardly physically active or entirely physically inactive. In the USA well north of 40% of adults do not do any exercise, with another 30% doing a little but not enough to meet the minimum daily exercise requirements. This is despite the irrefutable and uncontested evidence that physical activity benefits men and women of all ages.
Significant health benefits can be derived from doing a moderate amount of exercise on at least half the days in a month. It has been shown that exercise of higher intensity and/or longer duration tends to bestow additional benefits over and above those gained by moderate exercise of short duration.
Physical activity has numerous physiological benefits, most notably in the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, but also on the functioning of metabolic, endocrine, and immune systems.
Exercise has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of premature mortality and morbidity in general. It is particularly helpful in delaying or preventing the onset of chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, obesity and diabetes mellitus.
It is also necessary for the health of healthy bones, joints and muscles.
Exercise has also been shown to have great benefits in preserving mental health. It has been shown to be a highly successful way of reducing stress, as well as in improving mood and reducing anxiety.
Many people often actually exercise primarily as a weight loss method, in order to decrease body fat percentage and enhance their physical appearance. The way I see it we need a range of different motivations on those rainy mornings when we need to drag ourselves out of bed and go do something healthy, and wanting to look great is as good as any. However, there are obviously people who take this to extremes, where the frequency and intensity of their exercise regime actually leads to deteriorating health!
Current recommendations for physical exercise are that people should exercise at least moderately (a minimum of brisk walking) for 30 minutes or more on most days for a total of at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Approximately 22% of American adults currently meet these criteria.
Although there is such strong agreement that people should exercise, clearly it is not translating into increased exercise. Throughout these articles on exercise we will examine why this might be, and look at useful strategies to increase motivation to get out there on the road!
There is also a lot of controversy about which forms of exercise are most helpful. I do not see there as being a definitive answer here. My article on comparing HIIT to traditional and solely aerobic exercise programs discusses some of the choices available. I think personal choice is really important, as if you enjoy something then you are much more likely to stay motivated to do it.
Equally, different exercise types are probably better for different sports, body types, fitness levels, personalities and even DNA structures!
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