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It probably goes without saying that exercise is one of the most vital things you can do to maintain good health.
But how do you introduce this into your day-to-day life with ease? And what can you do to make sure you aren’t putting yourself at risk of an injury?
Thankfully, there is a whole host of ways you can get fit while staying safe. For example, brisk walking is a fantastic moderate-intensity aerobic activity that you can do – and you can fit this in by walking the kids to school!
So, to provide you with some more inspiration to improve your fitness, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of exercise before moving on to see how you can incorporate this into your routine (even by doing chores!).
The Benefits of Exercise
Controlling Your Weight
If you’re keen to start exercising because you want to lose weight or maintain your current weight, exercise (alongside your diet) plays a huge role in this. If the calories you burn throughout the day are less than the calories you consume through food and drink, you’ll gain weight.
So when it comes to managing your weight, the amount of exercise you need will depend on your individual body shape, weight, and lifestyle. You may need to become more active than other people so you can stick to a healthy weight.
To maintain your weight, try increasing the amount of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise you do to 150 minutes and 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (or another mix of the two per week). Evidence shows that, over time, exercise can really help you maintain your weight.
But if you’re trying to lose weight you’ll need to up this level of exercise, unless you also alter your diet so you’re consuming fewer calories. Nevertheless, healthy regimens will combine exercise and diet.
Decreasing Your Risk of Disease
In the US, stroke and heart disease are the two main causes of death. But if you follow recommended guidelines and get just 150 minutes of exercise per week (moderate-intensity), you can significantly reduce your chance of suffering from these diseases. The more exercise you do, the more you’ll reduce your risk.
Regular exercise can also improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Reducing Your Risk of Cancer
You’ll also be at less risk of developing two types of cancer if you’re physically active.
Research demonstrates that there’s a lower risk of colon cancer in physically active people and a lower risk of breast cancer in physically active women. And although research isn’t 100% conclusive, it does suggest that lung cancer and endometrial cancer risks may be reduced by regular exercise.
Strengthening Your Muscles and Bones
As you grow older, it’s crucial you protect your muscles, joints, and bones. These are key in supporting your body and moving around, but they’re also a huge factor in how physically active you can be.
Studies show that doing exercises that strengthen your muscles and bones (activities that are moderately intense, at least) can decrease the loss of bone density that occurs naturally as you age.
Boost Your Mood and Mental Health
By exercising regularly, you’ll enjoy sharper learning, thinking, and judgment skills as you get older. It also helps you sleep better and reduces your risk of suffering from low moods or depression.
All it takes is 30-60 minutes of muscle-strengthening and aerobic activities 3-5 times a week for you to enjoy these amazing mood-lifting benefits.
Some researchers have even suggested that lower-intensity exercise can have a beneficial impact on your mood.
Examples of Day-to-Day Exercise
Now you’re sold on the idea of exercise and its amazing benefits, how can you start introducing them into your day-to-day life, without taking too much time out of your day?
Well, you might just be surprised at how you can introduce exercise into your regimen, incorporating those everyday chores and sports into your fitness program.
Moderate-intensity exercise includes:
- Brisk walking (around 4mph)
- Heavy cleaning, e.g. mopping, vacuuming, or washing windows
- Mowing the lawn
- Light bicycling (around 10-12mph)
- Recreational badminton
- Tennis doubles
Vigorous-intensity exercise includes:
- Jogging (at around 6mph)
- Carrying heavy loads
- Fast cycling (14-16mph)
- Playing in a soccer or basketball game
- Tennis singles
And what’s more, you’ll even burn calories without knowing!
For example, did you know that the average person burns 70 calories an hour while they’re asleep or sitting?
Here are some other light-intensity exercises:
- Walking slowly
- Using a computer
- Fishing (while sat down)
- Standing and doing light work, e.g. washing the dishes or cooking
- Playing most instruments
As you can see, exercise really needn’t be a massive chore in your life – rather, it can help you be more proactive with your chores knowing that you’re burning those extra calories while you’re doing them.