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HealthLiving

Why should you exercise daily to keep good health?

By Dr. Manjeet Singh Arora, Senior General Physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund ~

For more than five decades, the scientific community has been working towards evidence on the positive effects of sports and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardio-respiratory fitness, build strong bones & muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of Anxiety & Depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions. The positive, direct effects of engaging in regular physical activity are particularly apparent in preventing several chronic diseases, including Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Hypertension, Obesity, Depression and Osteoporosis.

World Health Organization (WHO) stated that one in four patients visiting a health centre has at least one mental, neurological or behavioral disorder; but most are neither diagnosed nor treated. Several studies have shown that exercise may play a therapeutic role in addressing these disorders and positively influences Depression. Physical self-worth and self-perception, including body image, have been linked to improved self-esteem. This is also relevant for children. Children who play sports have lower body fat, stronger muscles & bones, and increased cardiovascular fitness. They have a much lower risk of becoming overweight or obese, and can create a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Positive health outcomes are one of the significant benefits of youth sports participation.

SOME BENEFITS OF EXERCISE ARE MENTIONED BELOW:

  • Many athletes do better academically: Playing a sport requires a lot of time and energy. Some people may think this would distract student-athletes from schoolwork. Sport requires memorization, repetition and learning — skill-sets that are directly relevant to classwork
  • Sport teachs teamwork and problem-solving skills: Fighting for a common goal with a group of players and coaches teaches you how to build teamwork & effectively communicate to solve problems
  • Physical health benefits of sports: Clearly, sports can help you reach your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight. However, they also encourage healthy decision-making, such as not smoking and not drinking
  • Sports boost self-esteem: Watching your hard work pay off and achieving your goals develops self-confidence.
  • Reduce pressure and stress with sports: Exercising is a natural way to loosen up and let go of stress.   

HERE IS HOW EXERCISE AND SPORTS PROMOTE GOOD HEALTH:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Lowers risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes
  • Helps manage weight
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Enhanced aerobic fitness
  • Improved muscular strength and endurance
  • Improved joint flexibility and range of motion 
  • Stress relief
  • Lowers risk of certain types of Cancer 
  • Controls cholesterol
  • Wards off Osteoporosis
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Improved sleep
  • Mental health benefits
  • Prolonged life

SO, YOU MIGHT WONDER WHICH SPORTS ACTIVITIES ARE SUITABLE TO STAY HEALTHY?

Walking (recreational), fitness or gym, running or athletics, swimming, cycling, Basketball/ Tennis, Football, etc. In the pandemic, we might not get to engage in a few of the activities mentioned above, but some can be done, such as walking in isolation or cycling. One of the best practices that people engaging in sports activities must follow is a stringent diet. These should be included in your daily diet:

  • Fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Starchy vegetables (sweet/white Potatoes, Squash)
  • Non-starchy vegetables (Broccoli, leafy greens)
  • Whole grain bread or crackers
  • High-fiber, non-sugary cereals

FOODS SPORTS PERSON MUST AVOID INCLUDE

  • Limit consumption of sports drinks
  • Avoid soda
  • Avoid protein bars & energy bars
  • Avoid saturated & trans fat
  • Limit carbohydrates
  • Limit caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol

FOR A SPORTS PERSON, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AT LEAST THREE DAYS A WEEK IS A MUST. TRY THE FOLLOWING:

  • Aerobic exercises at home 
  • Muscle-strengthening
  • Bone-strengthening 

In the end, make it a habit to eat breakfast daily, within one to two hours of waking up; then eat again every three to four hours, for a total of five to six meals per day. These meals should comprise mini to moderate-sized meals, snacks, and pre-and post-workout meals or snacks throughout the day.

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