Benefit Of Exercise To Healthy Living, By Adewunmi
Dr Celina Mojisola Adewunmi is of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). In this interview, the light exercise and movement specialist explains the importance of exercise to human health.
What is exercise?
Many authors have seen exercise as activities that require physical effort. It may be for the purpose of keeping fit or reducing weight. While some experts believe that one can use exercise to remain healthy, others believe that exercise can be used to sustain health.
In human kinetics, we believe that to say one is physically fit, there are several factors to put into consideration. But for a layman, the meaning of physically fitness may be just being energetic. But that is not just all.
For us to conclude that one is physically fit, one must have enough energy to go about one’s daily activities and still have extra -energy for extra-curricular activities. And taking part in physical activities is one of them. It is not only when someone is admitted in the hospital that we say that someone is sick. Some people are internally sick. That is why you will see someone moving from one place to another only to drop dead the next moment.
This is because there are certain things going on in that person that are not visible. For you to say that someone is physically fit, there is more to it: the heart must function well; all the tissues and muscles must be well nourished.
What are the various types of physical activities people can engage in?
We have physical education, which is basically about academics. We usually have it in secondary schools and universities where we educate people on physical activities. At the secondary school, we do not train them to be professionals .While we are educating on physical activities, we also talk about the benefits so that we can catch these students’ young.
We also have physical training. We also have aerobics. You can term jogging, running, skipping and sliding as physical activities.
What are the benefits of physical activities?
When you take part in physical activities, you will become physically fit, socially inclined, mentally enriched and have social forum. Immediately you see someone who is into sport, he or she will not need any introduction of what profession he belongs to. The carriage will be different. They usually look fit and trim. There are some people who look fat as result of genetic factor, but their carriage will tell you that they are fit. It is not only when you are slim that you are fit.
Exercise can also result into psychological development, a situation which can help you to read the minds of others and accommodate others. During physical activities, you expend excess calories or sugar because you need energy to perform physical activities. Exercise also helps to combat diseases and health conditions.
When you have regular physical activities, it helps to boost high level of lipoprotein, a form of good cholesterol. People always think that cholesterol is bad forgetting there is a type of cholesterol that is good for the body. It is based on that notion that you see people advising others not to consume oil. But we all need oil for lubrication of the body. Let me liken oil to engine oil in your car. When you refuse to put oil in your car, what will happen? Your engine will knock down. The same thing goes for the body. We need sugar and oil in moderation to lubricate our body. It is when you have it in excess that it will become problem. It is like when you are feeling hungry; it will be as if you want to die. But when you are given food, you will be all right because you have provided the body with what it needs.
If you eat double portion of what you used to eat because of that urge to eat, what will happen? You will create problem when you are trying to solve one. The same thing happens when you consume oil in excess.
Physical activities help to prevent and manage diseases like heart diseases, arthritis and cancers. It also helps to control diabetes. Exercise also promotes better sleep because when you exercise there is a free flow of blood to all the parts of the body.
Better sleep in turn energises the body. It is akin to having enough fuel in a generator or car. Free flow of blood to all parts of the body will promote rigorous walk. You see, after an exercise, you will feel like sleeping because all the nerves and muscles are relaxed. There is one particular exercise I always prescribe for people with sleep problems. It is called 10- step relaxation technique. I have prescribed it for many people who suffer from sleep deprivation. Before you finish the exercise, you would have slept.
Researches have proven that regular physical activities improve muscle strength and boost endurance. This is because you have been fueled with enough blood, water and nutrients so that you can do your work for a long time without getting tired. That is why we always recommend that once you start exercise, do not stop.
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