Why is exercising regularly important?
Exercise is an important way of living healthy. It decreases the chance of
- heart disease
- erectile dysfunction
- high blood pressure
- certain cancers
It can also help with anxiety, depression and stress.
150 minutes of exercise/physical activity a week is recommended, but more exercise is better. For example, you can exercise for 30 minutes five times a week. Or, you can do 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly.
It is also good to do exercises that make your muscles strong.
- Walking, dancing, running, swimming and sports are some examples of good exercise.
- Even Household chores like gardening, sweeping, hand washing clothes can be a good form of physical activity.
- Get off the transport you are using earlier to walk the rest of the way home or use the stairs instead of the lift to get more exercise.
You can exercise with family or friends to make it more fun.
If you work long hours and are mostly at home when it is already dark, we recommend you find some exercise tutorials online that are suitable to your level of fitness and available space.
Exercise, Injury and Safety
It is important to consider safety when exercising. Try not to hurt yourself while exercising - exercise should be fun, comfortable and safe - you should stop if you feel pain or have injured yourself. Warming up before exercising and stretching after exercise can help prevent injuries. Do not compromise on your form and technique of your exercise to try to push your body harder.
It is important to see a doctor about any injuries you have. If you don’t look after your injuries, they may stop you from exercising and could lead to long-term damage.
A major study found that those who did not exercise according to the above recommendations were at higher risk of many dangerous diseases. The results are summarised below. Those who did not exercise as recommended were:
- 16% more likely to develop Coronary Heart Disease (which can lead to heart attacks)
- 20% more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes
- 33% more likely to develop Breast Cancer
- 32% more likely to develop Colon Cancer
- 28% more likely to die from any disease
When compared to those who exercise according to the recommendations.
It is important to note that developing these diseases can cause serious harm to your health and quality of life. Each of these diseases bring with them a whole bunch of other health problems.
World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2010.
Lee et al., Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet July 2012.