Tue, Oct

8 Reasons you must exercise regularly

Exercise helps in strengthening heart muscles.

The first reason has to do with improved physical fitness.  Before movement takes place in any part of the body, muscles have to move. 

The strength (tone) of the muscles is increased by their use. They become weaker and weaker when their use reduces.

Exercise helps in the use of the muscles, bones and structures needed in moving the body. This helps improve physical fitness. Thus there will be no room for pains and aches in a person that exercises regularly. 

Some forms of weakness, pain and fatigue can be done away with if you exercise regularly. At the initial stages of exercise, especially in those who have not done any exercise in a long time, body pain is a common feature. This stops when exercise persists on a regular basis. 

So do not get discouraged so early and stop your exercise regime. Sometimes, starting exercising “too hard” can lead to severe pain and discomfort. It is always better to start slow and increase the duration gradually. 

Often the excitement that characterises going to the gym reduces with time so do not be in a hurry to start from a gym. Walk around your house. If the rains set-in, walk indoors.

Maintaining good blood pressure

Exercise helps in strengthening heart muscles and thus keeps blood pressure within acceptable limits. It also helps you lose weight which helps lower your blood pressure.  

Though exercise helps in managing blood pressure, it can actually make BP worse for hypertensive patients. Your doctor will advise you when it is safe for you to go exercising. When BPs are very high, exercise can be dangerous. 

For someone who has a normal blood pressure, exercising regularly now can help prevent hypertension. Hope you will exercise some more for a better BP. 

Regular exercise also helps maintain a normal blood pressure. In order to prevent irregular blood pressure reading - normal today, high tomorrow - get to exercise regularly.

Better weight control

Weight gain even if genetically influenced has something to do with energy balance of the body. When there is more energy in the system than is being used, there is weight gain. 

Exercise increases physical activity and thus increases usage of the percentage of the energy quota reserved for physical activity. This helps in weight loss and control.

For the current fat stored in the body to be lost, one has to exercise on a regular basis. When exercise is done frequently, better results can be achieved in a bid to lose weight. 

If you however exercise only once in a while, do not expect any meaningful weight loss. Thus the more frequent your exercise, the better your chances of losing weight.

Weight if lost can be gained again if you stop exercising. This means you have to keep moving.  

Better blood sugar control

 Exercise increases tissue up-take of blood glucose. This is brought about by the increase in the sensitivity of insulin, hence a better control of blood glucose. 

The diabetic who exercises sees a decline in blood glucose to normal levels most of the time. Exercise will also help in reducing weight, a very good step in the management of diabetes. Muscular activity increases with exercise, a good way to reduce blood sugar levels since they take up the sugar from the blood. 

This is not only for diabetics, everyone benefits so exercise is for all. It is a good way to prevent diabetes, high blood cholesterol among others. 

Start moving!

• The writer is a dietician at Trust Hospital and author of "Diet, Health & Wellness Book". He invites you to the launch of his new diet book titled: “Answers for your diet” at the Trust Specialist Hospital, Sunkwa, Osu on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 12noon.