Olympic Fever: Clarion Call For Improved Physical Activity
London Olympic Games will commence in the next few days with a lot of expectations. Medals will be won and many athletes will smile home with dollars or pounds as the case may be. Aside all these, I want all of us to use this period as a reminder to improve our physical activities because of the health benefits. exercise is good for all irrespective of age.
The global efforts, undertaken by the Lancets Physical activity series working group suggests that physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of the burden of coronary heart disease(heart attack) and 7% of the burden of diabetes. In addition, the research group notes that one in 10 breast and colonic cancers are attributable to lack of exercise. None of these diseases is preferred and I use this period to call on people to improve our physical activities to bring down the burden of non-infectious diseases that are causing untimely death in our midst.
Physical activities have been shown to be of tremendous help in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular state. There is no age limit when it comes to physical activity. Just because a person ages does not mean he or she must become inactive. The older a person gets, the more important it is to remain as physically active as possible.
One is happy to see many people, old and young with their sporting kits either jogging or walking in the morning and evening. If you are in this category, please keep it up. And if you are yet to start, time to join in now.
Make exercise easy and full of fun. Fitness doesn’t have to be made complex, it can be easy and fun and you don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment. Walking is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to get fit. But there are plenty of other ways to be active, especially for busy executives in the society.
Go out for a short walk before breakfast, after dinner or both. Start from 5 minutes and gradually step it up to 30 minutes.
Engage yourself in certain home works thereby giving a helping hand to the “officers” in the kitchen. House helps may not have to do everything for us. Get water and drinks from the fridge. Clear tables where applicable and move around in the house.
Rather than driving or sending somebody to get things for you in a nearby shop, walk there yourself. Use the car or bike only for long distances. When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk. Choose a raised or uphill route wherever possible.
Stand up while talking over the phone and pace up and down while the conversation lasts. It helps.
You can walk with your dog if you have one. This may look strange depending on the area of your settlement, don’t bother, keep it up.
Park further away at shopping mall and walk the extra distance, subject to safety of your car in that vicinity.
At The Office
Brainstorm project ideas with a co- worker while taking a walk. It is not all projects or business discussion that requires prolonged sitting. The common saying is “let’s sit and discuss it over” but this oftentimes delays the outcome and possibly affect our cardiovascular state.
Walking down the hall to speak with someone rather than using telephone.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator / lift. Many people are now persuaded or forced to use stairs because of poor power supply and high cost of diesel. This is a blessing in disguise.
Get involved in organizing charity walk and raise money for the under-privileged. Your heart benefits in both ways, being happy for helping others and the effect of the exercise on the heart.
Get off bus/car/bike a few stops early and walk the rest of the way home or work.
As you are starting afresh, these are some tips that will assist you.
What To Wear?
Start with comfortable, well-fitted trainers shoe and wear loose- fitting clothes.
How to get going?
Start with modest goal, like 15-20 minutes at a leisurely pace. There are three segments to this exercise programme, namely warm up, exercise pace and cool down.
Warm up: walk the first 5 minutes at a reduced pace and pause. Do some stretches with focus on the calves, front and back of the thigh, and lower back. Hold each for 30 seconds.
Exercise pace: after stretching, walk at an exercise pace. change from leisure to brisk walk for 15 – 30 minutes. As you do this, remember never to exert yourself beyond your ability. The feeling should always be like that of ‘moderate’ work and if more than this, kindly stop. Keep your shoulder and back relaxed, letting your arm swing naturally. Your heel should strike the ground first and you push off with your toe.
Cool down: for the last 5minutes of your walk, gradually slow down. Finish with more stretches. Do not stop abruptly.
The importance of exercise is enormous, but if you are over 40 years of age and have never exercised, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise programme. Physical activities lower the blood pressure, increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood and help to prevent heart attack. Walking gives you a greater capacity for work and helps you deal better with daily stress.
It improves your sleep and strengthens your bones. As helpful as this may sound, if you feel uncomfortable at any stage of the exercise please stop and call for help. Practice prescribed and supervised exercises and avoid unnecessary death from physical exercises.
Till next week maintain a healthy heartShare