Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Run for fun!

 You have heard the mantra 'exercise and be fit 'many times before. "But let me say that if there is a magic to enhance the quality of your life in general: it is exercise,” says Dr. Amy Wechsler, the author of Mind- Beauty Connection. “Exercise fights the onset of age-related diseases, lifts your spirits and sense of well-being, increases your lung capacity so you can take in more oxygen, boosts circulation to deliver nutrients to cells and skin, lowers inflammation, and, for many, it is said to be the ultimate stress reducer. That healthy glow you get after a great workout (rosy cheeks indicative of the increased circulation that is nourishing all those facial cells and tissues) isn’t just for show.” There are endless studies on exercise and its mind-beauty connection. Exercise makes your brain release certain chemicals with anti-depressant effects. Regular exercise helps to extend your life. Even the middle aged people who start exercise gain extra days here. Even starting exercise in your middle age can lower death by 23% in the next 2 decades. In a well-known Harvard alumni study it was found that 26,000 people who had spent 2000 calories per week by exercising extended their lives by 2 years. Simply put, it was found that every hour of exercise would add three hours of extra life.  Although almost all of us know that exercise is good for our body and mind, even half of us do not want to resort to it regularly.  It not only energizes but lifts our spirits too. It helps every single cell of your body by producing  chemicals like endorphins that make you peaceful and jovial. It is an anti-dote for insomnia, depression, and is a self -booster. Exercise helps to manage stress better and it simply promotes psychological well-being. People who exercise look toned, healthier and younger as they burn off calories.  As weight reduction is inevitable, it wards off hyper tension, protects you from heart disease, obesity, back pain and diabetes. It also helps one maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.  The more sugar you burn the more active you become.  It helps to boost your sex life. With the enhanced energy level and better self esteem sex becomes more enjoyable. On the whole, it helps your entire life. It is after conducting an extensive study on a considerable number of adults on the effect of aerobic exercise on insomnia that the scientists at the Northwestern University, concluded that people could improve their quality of sleep, vitality, and mood with regular exercise.
 As teens do not exercise (they need at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise daily) as much as adults these days they become prone to many illnesses. You must have read somewhere some time that you must do 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity like brisk walking, running, cycling, 3-5 times a week . It is essential too that you engage in some muscle-strengthening activity like stretching at least twice a week. For those who have been inactive for a while, they can start with walking or swimming at a comfortable pace for short periods and slowly begin more strenuous activities. Exercise will make you feel hungry and you may eat more food but you will not eat enough to match the calories you burn. There are 700 odd exercises and workouts to chose from. If a machine is not used it rusts and before long it will die. Our body is a complex machine and every part of it-every muscle, joint and limb needs lubrication and movement.  The more we move the better. As we advance in age we move less and our body becomes stiffer and the joints taut.  If inactivity continues there comes a point of very little movement and death is at the doorsteps. Movement determines quality of life. And exercise insures us. Move more live more.  Inactivity and moving less erodes our mental faculties. As the body becomes stiffer the mind begins to rust. The more used and agile your body and limbs the fitter your mind. Remember the ancient Roman saying, in a sound body rests a sound mind.’ When our organs, limbs and joints are not exercised they start giving trouble. Slowly but steadily diseases start coming in. Hospital, doctor, and medicine cripple your life. Regular physical exercise will keep away the doctor. Those who do not find time for exercise must eventually make time for illness. Those who prefer to be in their comfort zones of idling will end up soon in the cold world 6 feet below. 
All of us know what is needed to live healthier and more fulfilling lives. The sad thing is that we do not do what we know. We are waiting for the right or opportune time. And in the process weeks slip into months and months into years. Before long the sun will start casting long shadows signaling the downing of the curtain and there will be a lurking regret that we did live life the best way we could. There is no need to find a well equipped gym to begin exercising. You could start walking on your terrace in a round, as I do every day, watching the painted cotton puffs floating in the sky, savoring the fragrance in the breeze, feasting on the western picture post card like painting of nature against the city skyline, watching the crimson ball slowly lowering below the horizon. The fresh air, the chirpings of nestling birds and the slow darkening process will be, in themselves, invigorating.             

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