One way of appreciating the benefits of the regular body movements you make is to examine a limb that has been immobilized under ‘POP’ (Plaster of Paris) cast. This application is commonly used to fix a fractured bone in one place to enhance the union of the two broken edges. For an adult, a major bone would require a period of 10 to 12 weeks before the cast is removed. At the end of this period, the neighboring joints that have been under the cast remain stiff until they are physically mobilized again, with much pain. The benefits of physical exercise include the following:
Helps control unhealthy weight
The food you eat provides energy for work in the body and any unused calories are stored in the body tissues. If your food intake outweighs the rate of utilization by the body, then there would be a continuous accumulation of fat in the body tissues and organs. Physical exercise helps you utilize the extra calories, thereby reducing the weight gain. It is also known that regular exercise increases the basal metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body burns energy even at rest.
Popular Exercise DVDs
Reduces the risk of heart disease
The heart is a muscular organ. During exercise, the body cries out for more oxygen supply to the tissues and the heart responds by pumping harder and faster. This in itself is training for the heart. With time, the heart learns to pump harder even at rest, thereby reducing the rate at which it beats. This is why athletes have low heart rates. This means that each contraction (pumping action of the heart) is effective and the heart is not being overlabored by multiple ineffective contractions. This is a way of maintaining a healthy physical heart and reducing the risk of heart disease. It is also known that low-intensity regular exercise helps to reduce cholesterol and weight. Having a high cholesterol level and being overweight encourage high blood pressure; therefore reducing them is an indirect way of reducing the blood pressure.
Reduces the risk of stroke
Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are factors that favor stroke. A wise man once said “The longer the belt the shorter the life”. Exercise helps control these factors and reduces the risk of stroke. Remember to see your doctor for advice in how far you should go on exercise.
Regular moderate weight-bearing exercise places a healthy stress on bone and preserves the bone thickness while lack of activity encourages thinning of the bone, making it more prone to damage. Indeed, the Bible is right; idleness causes decay.
Prevention and management of Arthritis
Arthritis simply means inflammation of the joints. Two or more bones, held in place by tendons, form joints. Disturbing the alignment of these bones produces friction and roughness of the ends of the bones. This causes inflammation and joint pain. Healthy exercise helps the muscles to maintain good alignment and full movements in the joints, thereby reducing joint pain. It is also known that exercise encourages the release of endorphin, the so called body’s own pain reliever.
Strength, flexibility and stamina
When a particular muscle is not being used, it gradually thins down, gets weak and flabby. On the other hand, regular muscle exercise improves the flexibility and stamina of the muscle. This increased stamina enables you to exercise more without becoming unduly fagged out. The absence of regular exercise, coupled with unnecessary weight, makes most inactive people pant with slight physical exercise. A lot of physical ailments that are normally associated with weak and frail muscles can be prevented or minimized by regular low-intensity exercises.
Improved Performance of the Respiratory System
Normal breathing at rest does not utilize the full capacity of the lungs. Exercise challenges the lungs to optimal performance in a bid to meet the need of the tissues that are crying for more oxygen. It also creates an opportunity for the toning and activation of the respiratory muscles with a resultant improvement in breathing. This can bring about a solution to snoring and sleep apnea (cessation of respiration), which is commoner with overweight individuals. Flabby muscles, which result from lack of exercise, tend to narrow the airway at sleep, producing some tidal ‘music’ as air is forced through the partially closed airway. Exercise also helps you maintain a clear airway by getting rid of mucus plugs that could cause “go slow” along the airway, resulting in infection. Studies have shown that those who exercise regularly are less prone to common cold than those who do not exercise. Exercise also helps a singer achieve better breath control and better singing.
Exercise can help you wage war against indigestion and constipation. One of the challenges of elderly people is constipation due to reduced physical activities.
The sleep of a hard-working man, according to the scripture, is indeed sweet. Exercise helps you sleep well but you are advised not to exercise just before bedtime, as that would be counterproductive.
Exercise improves mental alertness and memory, possibly by improving blood circulation to the different parts of the body, including the brain.
Exercise helps you build some self-confidence, which is a requirement for success because when you are defeated internally, it becomes difficult to go forward. When your physical body is sound and toned, it helps you have better self-esteem, carriage and poise to face your challenges.
- Amazon Bestseller -
Improved sexual pleasure
This is closely related to the preceding point because a good self-image encourages sexuality. Also, good physical fitness makes you more attractive to your spouse. Note also that exercise just before the act can weary the physical body and produce a poor response.
Exercise generally lightens the mood and creates opportunities for laughter, which serves as a healing balm and tonic to the body. The release of endorphin in the body, which gives a general feeling of well being, is also a by-product of low intensity regular exercise. Remember that physical exercise must be balanced with physical (sometimes called horizontal) rest. God worked for six days and rested on the seventh day. If the one who neither sleeps nor slumbers needed rest, how much more you. Some people are perpetually stressed up because they make no provisions for rest until they break down, then they go on compulsory rest in hospital.
Excerpt from Accountant Today - by Professor Prince Famous Izedonmi Ph.d, FCA from the University of Benin, Edo State and Dr. (Mrs.) Nma Ndubisi, MBBS is from the Convenant University, Ota, Ogun State.