Exercise for Better Health

I sometimes forget how therapeutic exercising is. Being a physician working long hours, sometimes taking up part-time jobs and a mother of a very active child who loves sports can pose a challenge. Trying to strike a balance can sometimes be hard but I find that when I do get the opportunity to exercise it more of a breath of fresh air rather than a stressful physical activity. Maybe because I do routines that I like rather than having a drill sergeant breathing down my throat telling me what to do. As much as it might allow one to be disciplined and set in a routine, I personally never find it fun, relaxing and most importantly therapeutic to have personal trainers dictate forcefully your daily workout. Exercising addresses issues of the mind, body and soul, from relieving stress in one’s life, to controlling chronic medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes to bringing about self-awareness and decluttering the brain.

The Mind

The challenges of life can create a basket of stress that we carry daily on our shoulders, sometimes not realizing that we are subconsciously saturating the brain with things we have no control over. People are constantly bombarded with financial burdens, juggling two and three jobs, separation and divorce and providing for their children, ensuring that they receive the best that life has to offer. Might I say that cap fits me so perfectly? Constantly carrying these stresses daily can have a significant negative effect on our mental health and our communication with friends, colleagues and family. Hyper concentrating on an issue can potentially affect your performance at work or other aspects of life resulting in bare minimal performance daily. Meditating a few days per week has been useful in resetting my thought pattern and refocusing on what is important for that particular day and by extension, the week.

The Body

The curves are so motivating, aren’t they? Exercising improves one’s physical appearance by toning all the muscles, making them more defined. Your skin looks healthier and the glow is admirable. But exercising is more than skin deep, it improves physical discomfort caused by being stressed. The physical ailments of being mentally stressed are so uncomfortable by itself, ranging from headache, back pain, neck pain to feeling fidgety and nervous. Physical activity can help alleviate some of the pain and stress an individual might be experiencing. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both spreads throughout the week. Further, recommending even light-intensity exercises to offset some of the risks of being sedentary especially for some of us that are at home during this COVID-19 pandemic. Walking briskly, gardening, mowing the lawns and cycling are some moderate-intensity activities. Vigorous-intensity exercises include hiking, running and swimming among others. 

Exercising has a plethora of health benefits of which we can be beneficiaries. Exercise and a delicious glass of green smoothie (please read Blog ‘Skin so Smooth’) can be an excellent start to a productive day or the perfect de-stress to a long hectic day. It requires self-motivation and a little extra effort to reap the benefits.

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