Exercise, as often as it is promoted still receive low commitment by general percentage of people worldwide. This has raised question about level of mental alertness and overall creative ability of people generally.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) one in four adults globally is not physically active enough, and more than 80 percent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
World Health Organisation reports that insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. That low physical activity is a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. Physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to prevent NCDs WHO says.
Mind you, WHO defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure – including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits.”
My focus here is about exercise as “a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and aims to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.” -WHO’s definition of exercise.
Exercise is the physical activity that involves moderate to vigorous activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, gardening, dancing, weightlifting, rock-climbing, sports and so many others. Exercise involves joints and muscle frictions and it requires you to spend energy.
Of a fact, many people know what exercising means and some understand the health benefits of engaging in moderate to vigorous exercises. The question is: Why are only few people engaging in it? A survey revealed that only 20.6 percent of people met the total recommended amounts of exercise — about 23 percent of all surveyed men and 18 percent of surveyed women. People most likely to exercise were between the ages of 18 and 24 (almost 31 percent of exercisers). Those least likely to engage in physical activity were ages 65 and older (nearly 16 percent of exercisers).
Authorities like CDC and WHO recommend that adults 18 to 64 should exercise moderately for two-and-a-half hours per week and engage in vigorous activity for an hour and 15 minutes. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week. Same applies to adults 65 and above. Only added that those with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls, 3 or more days per week.
Reasons that limit individuals from exercising can be:
Over reliance on cars, procrastination, addiction to television, computer and social media, expensive exercising equipment and gym membership, laziness, location- due to insecurity, some people are afraid to leave their homes to go out for a walk or run.
Despite this reasons preventing people from exercising, those who understand the importance of exercise create avenues for exercising around them with whatever they have. They do not wait to join a gym club before starting to exercise. They create daily habit of maintaining physical exercising either by: using the staircase every morning, watering the garden in a manual form, doing a certain number of squats, push-ups, lunges, planks and pull-ups in the mornings.
There are both indoor and outdoor exercising activities that every person can engage in, which in return will yield great health benefits to the person. Good exercising activities coupled with a steady routine improve mental alertness and keep many diseases away from the body. The health benefits are quite many.
Simple exercises include squat, push up, lunge, plank, pull up, running, cycling, swimming, stretching and yoga. The most important thing about exercising is that it has to be routine, structured and aims to improve or maintain physical fitness.
Why should everyone actively engage in exercising? What are the Benefits?
Aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain.
Other health benefits from regular exercise as emphasized by health professionals include:
- Improved sleep
- Better endurance
- Stress relief
- Improvement in mood
- Increased energy and stamina
- Increased interest in sex
- Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
- Weight reduction and energy balance
- Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness
- Improved bone and functional health;
- Reduce risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer
In conclusion, there are different methods as highlighted so far on how one can exercise irrespective of one’s environment or situation. Everyone should find the method that is most suitable and can best produce the health benefits he or she desires. It’s of essence that active exercise engagement promotes a healthy body, a better being and a community of mentally alert people.
I am not a health or physical fitness professional. I only write to express an opinion on the subject of exercising, as I have observed the decrease in number of people engaging in active exercise. Not engaging in physical activity is dangerous to health.