We all know that exercise is important in our daily lives, but we may not know why or what exercise can vì chưng for us.

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It’s important to remember that we have evolved from nomadic ancestors who spent all their time moving around in search of food và shelter, travelling large distances on a daily basis. Our bodies are designed and have evolved khổng lồ be regularly active.

In the same way that a sports oto is designed lớn go fast, we are designed lớn move. If the sports car is taken out once a week for a 3 mile round trip through a town centre then it would probably develop engine problems fairly quickly.

Over time people too develop problems if they sit down all day at a desk or in front of the TV and minimise the amount of exercise they do.

The Benefits of Exercise

There are many benefits of regular exercise & maintaining fitness & these include: Exercise increases energy levels

Exercise improves both the strength & the efficiency of your cardiovascular system to lớn get the oxygen và nutrients khổng lồ your muscles. When your cardiovascular system works better everything seems easier & you have more energy for the fun stuff in life.

Exercise improves muscle strength

Staying active keeps muscles strong and joints, tendons and ligaments flexible, allowing you khổng lồ move more easily và avoid injury. Strong muscles & ligaments reduce your risk of joint và lower back pain by keeping joints in proper alignment. They also improve coordination & balance.

There is overwhelming evidence that people who lead active lifestyles are less likely lớn suffer from illness and more likely lớn live longer.

Exercise is good for your heart

Exercise reduces LDL cholesterol (the type that clogs your arteries), increases HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduces blood pressure so it lowers the căng thẳng on your heart. Added lớn this, it also strengthens your heart muscle. Combined with a healthy diet, exercise lowers the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Regular exercise helps to control blood glucose levels, which helps lớn prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Additionally exercise helps lớn prevent obesity, which is a primary factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Exercise enhances your immune system

Exercise improves your body’s ability to pump the oxygen and nutrients around your body that are required khổng lồ fuel the cells that fight bacteria và viruses.

Staying active reduces the likelihood of developing some degenerative bone diseases

Weight bearing exercise such as running, walking or weight training lowers your risk of both osteoarthritis và osteoporosis – the adage of “use it or chiến bại it” really does apply khổng lồ bones.

Exercise may help lớn reduce the risk of certain cancers

Being fit may mean that the risks of colon cancer, breast cancer and possibly also lung and endometrial cancers are reduced. Studies by the Seattle Cancer Research Centre have suggested that 35% of all cancer deaths are linked to being overweight and sedentary.

Exercise not only makes you physically fitter but it also improves your mental health and general sense of well-being.

Exercise improves your mood & gives you an improved sense of well-being

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins which make you feel better và more relaxed. These in turn improve your mood và lower your stress levels.

Keeping fit can reduce some of the effects of ageing

Exercise can be fun! 

Getting fit is not just about running on a treadmill for hours in your local gym, it can be a dance class or a new hobby lượt thích fencing or mountain biking. It could be a group or team activity lượt thích football or a karate class.

Whatever form of exercise you choose, you’ll almost certainly meet new people và may make new friends.

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How Much Should you Exercise?

According lớn the American College of Sports Medicine, current guidelines suggest that to lớn stay healthy, adults between 19 & 64 should try lớn be active daily và follow these recommendations:

Cardiorespiratory Exercise

Cardiorespiratory exercise, often abbreviated khổng lồ "cardio", is any exercise that increases the heartbeat và breathing rate.

Such exercises include walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing and team sports such as football, hockey, basketball etc.

You should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

These recommendations can be achieved through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five times a week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three times a week) or a combination of both types.

One continuous session combined with multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) is also acceptable.

For those starting out, gradual progression of exercise time, frequency và intensity is recommended. You are more likely khổng lồ stay on track và avoid injury if you start gently.

Even if you can"t reach these minimum targets you can still benefit from some activity.

Resistance Exercise

Resistance exercise is concerned with working the bodies muscle groups and building strength.

It is recommended that adults train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises và equipment.

Very light or light intensity resistance training is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults new khổng lồ exercise

Two lớn four sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength and power. For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, while 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.

It is recommended that adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

Moderate vs Vigorous Intensity

There are a number of different ways lớn classify the intensity of any exercise, some based on heart rate, some on perceived exertion và some on how the exercise affects your metabolic rate.

Generally Speaking...

Moderate-intensity activityshould raiseyour heart rate, make you breathe faster và make you feel warm enough to lớn start lớn sweat.

Vigorous intensity exercise will make you breathe hard, increase your heart rate significantly & make you hot enough lớn sweat profusely.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests that moderate-intensity activity allows you to talk but not to lớn sing, whereas more vigorous activity results in an inability to lớn say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Examples of moderate intensity exercise include:

Brisk walking (100 steps/minute) dancing Swimming or aqua aerobics Gentle cycling (5-9mph) Badminton or doubles tennis Volleyball

Examples of vigorous intensity exercise include:

Running nguồn walking at 5mph or more, or walking uphill briskly Cycling faster than 10mph Aerobics Martial arts Competitive sports (football, basketball, rugby etc.) Skipping/jump rope Rowing

Overall though, any activity that gets you moving, gets your heart rate up & gives you enough pleasure to do it regularly and often is good for you in almost every way.

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Have fun, be healthy and feel good!


Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide khổng lồ Stress và Stress Management

Understand & Manage căng thẳng in Your Life

Learn more about the nature of stress và how you can effectively cope with găng tay at work, at home and in life generally. The Skills You Need Guide khổng lồ Stress and Stress Management eBook covers all you need to know to help you through those stressful times and become more resilient.