Stay Active, Stay Fit!

Importance of fitness

We now recognize the importance of physical fitness more than ever before. Being fit is important because it serves as an indication of the physical functioning of a person. Irrespective of our lifestyle, age or physical ability, we all need the right type of exercise which we can practice regularly and stay healthy.

Fast facts:

  • Physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for global mortality and 6% of deaths are attributed to physical inactivity.
  • Globally, 1 in 3 adults is not active enough.

Why is it important to keep fit?

  • Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent.
  • Give you a feeling of better health through increased energy and vitality.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Improve your mood and reduce depression.
  • Improve your muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, bone and functional health.

How to stay fit and active?

There are 4 major categories of activities that can help you improve health and physical ability.

  1. Endurance: These are aerobic exercises that build your energy, increase your breathing, heart rate and improve the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. A regular 30-minute activity is a proper regime. You can build endurance by brisk walking, doing yard work (mowing, raking), dancing, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs or hills, playing tennis or basketball.
  2. Strength: These are strength training or resistance training exercises that build muscles and improve muscle strength. They help prevent falls, maintain your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. Lifting weights, using a resistance band, doing push-ups and sit-ups can help you to use your muscles and strengthen them.
  3. Balance: Practice exercises that help you maintain physical balance as they help prevent falls. Standing on one foot, Heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi are exercises to improve your balance.
  4. Flexibility: Stretching exercises can help your body stay flexible thus giving you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity as well as for your everyday activities. Shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch, yoga are some exercises to improve your flexibility.

Tips to exercise safely

  1. Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Start with a low intensity few, short 5 to 10-minute gentle exercise sessions per day.
  2. Proceed to moderate intensity exercises which would bring a slight change in your heart and breathing rate.
  3. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure.
  4. Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  5. Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you are doing activities.
  6. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you’re probably bending the right way.
  7. Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping first.
  8. Make sure you do not continue with the exercises that hurt or make you feel really tired.

Did You Know?

Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination both. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Book a Genome Study Now' link='' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='medium' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']Make exercise a part of your daily routine and reap its many benefits. For a deeper understanding of your health right from the DNA level, book a Genome Study on MediBuddy![/av_promobox] Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 12, 2016.

2. National Institutes of Health. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

3. National Health Service. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.