A case for exercise by Dr. Sonali Sinha

Often regular exercisers such as yours truly are asked by shall we say…our more sedentary brethren… ‘What is it that makes you wake up at unearthly hours, shift around your schedule just to be able to run, swim, cycle, etc..?’ Most of us would probably answer with a casual shrug… “I don’t know, I just love it I guess”, while the non exerciser shakes his/her head in disbelief and settles comfortably on the couch.

At such junctures the avid exerciser, medical and lifestyle professional and the generally pushy individual in me rises up like the proverbial hydra and I present my CASE FOR EXERCISE.

Setting aside the performance or professional athlete, the three other major
groups of exercisers are -

1) Recreational Athlete or Fitness Enthusiast - The one who exercises for enhancing his/her fitness levels.

2) The Weight Watcher - The increase, decrease or maintain weight.

3) Special Population - In the exercise jargon, individuals with medial or pre –medical conditions. For e.g. Heart Disease, Diabetes, Arthritis, etc

The good news is, regular physical activity has a positive impact on Physical
health, Mental health, disease management and weight control. Regular Moderate physical activity (regular and moderate are key words), has undeniable benefits. Two more components need to be factored in-

1) Appropriate food consumption or diet
2) Rest and Recuperation

Just to mention a few benefits of exercise, as regular exercise affects almost every aspect of our lives.

  1. Exercise improves your overall health
  2. Makes you feel good
  3. Enhances your appearance
  4. Helps you manage stress more effectively
  5. Reduces your level of anxiety and depression
  6. Boosts your energy levels
  7. Increases your stamina
  8. Strengthens your heart and lowers your risk of heart disease
  9. Reduces risk of developing lifestyle diseases.

I have listed just SOME of the benefits that physical activity is capable of providing.Humans are bipeds designed for movement; yet let’s look around.
The Average urban dweller is leading a more and more sedentary and mechanized life. The negative impact of inactivity is in- your- face! Just the increase in the number and decrease in age for heart attacks being one indicator.

My friend on the couch, perhaps it is time to get moving and get started!
I (partially) Rest My Case.

Source: Dr. Sonali Sinha

She is a certified fitness specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine.She runs a fitness consultancy, Santulan, providing lifestyle management programs for individuals and groups.

Image: Thinkstockphotos.com

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