Stay active to stay healthy

BY: Catherine Oppong
Take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator whenever possible

WHAT is your routine for a typical day? Does it involve any activity to make you physically active? Or you have the usual work, eat and sleep routine?

In our world today, non-communicable diseases, such as stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, among others, account for about 71 per cent of all deaths globally.

The surge in the numbers is because many people live sedentary lifestyles through motorised transport and the increased use of screens for work, education and recreation.

Countless research studies have proven that regular physical activity can help in the prevention and management of such diseases.
However, staying physically active has become an uneasy task with the use of technology in our everyday lives.

We spend long hours sitting behind computers in the office, waiting in long traffic to get home and spend the rest of the day watching television until it is bedtime.

These days, children rarely engage in play activities; they stay indoors instead to play computer games or watch television. This is a leading cause of childhood obesity, resulting in diabetes, heart diseases, and joint pain.

With all the barriers to physical fitness in our world today, it’s more important now than ever to intentionally set aside time for regular physical activities in order to stay healthy.

Benefits of regular physical activity
Although you may not see the immediate benefits of exercising, staying active and engaging in physical activities eventually improves your health, quality of life and general well-being. Some of the benefits include the following:
1. Reducing your risk of a heart attack, stroke and some cancers
2. Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
3. Reducing your risk of depression and anxiety
4. Improving your thinking, learning and judgement skills
5. Helping to maintain a healthy weight body

Practical ways to stay active
1. Take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator whenever possible.
2. Avoid sitting in front of the TV or computer for extended periods. Take periodic breaks to walk around. (Set reminders if necessary)
3. Take morning or evening walks
4. Try out a new sports activity (e.g. swimming, cycling, basketball, etc.)
5. Stand or walk around during phone calls instead of sitting or lying down
6. Include exercises or workouts in your daily routine
7. Engaging in household chores such as sweeping, cleaning, gardening, etc., will help increase your physical activity levels.