09 Apr The many benefits of sufficient exercise
Tips for exercising more daily without visiting the gym
Exercise is much more than just sports. Moving is also nice and active; in the house, in the garden, take a walk or take the children to school by bike, for example.
People with a sedentary job in particular often fall short of exercise. It is certainly important for these people to look for extra exercise. But many others are often less active than people think. Some go to the gym occasionally, but often it gets lost (due to lack of time, for example).
I therefore especially recommend “busy” people to fit exercise into daily life as much as possible. These are perhaps well-known advice:
- Take the stairs more often instead of the elevator
- For short distances, take the bike instead of the car
- Do small shopping on foot
- Plan an active outing more often
- Use (part of) your lunch break for a short walk
- Limit internal e-mails and, if possible, visit the person concerned
- Do not keep looking for the nearest parking place but put your car a little further away and walk a bit
- Get off the bus or tram one stop earlier and walk the last bit
I recently came across this (I liked it):
- Go to the toilet on another floor
- Be the first to jump up to get coffee for your colleagues
The above advice takes little time but provides a lot of extra exercise if you apply it daily.
Advantages of sufficient exercise on a daily basis
But what exactly are the benefits of sufficient exercise? In addition to being naturally good when you want to lose weight or not gain weight, various studies have shown that sufficient exercise offers many health benefits:
People with an active lifestyle have an estimated:
- 40 – 50% less chance of colon cancer
- 20 – 40% less chance of breast cancer (women)
- Keeps the heart and blood vessels in condition and lowers blood pressure. This also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke
- It lowers cholesterol
- Improves digestion; less trouble with blockage, easier to the toilet
- Prevents bone loss
- Has a beneficial effect on diabetes (and can help prevent type 2 diabetes)
- Is it good for our mental health. Works just as well as a medicine for major depressions
- Provides healthy, strong muscles and flexible joints
- Feel fitter, healthier and more energetic
Exercise: how often and for how long?
The best thing is to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This can also be best distributed; for example 3 x 10 minutes a day. Exercising 30 minutes every day already provides health benefits and is better than exercising twice a week and doing nothing for the rest of the week.
Tools for moving more
To see how active you are, a pedometer is a good tool. To stay healthy you have to take 10,000 steps a day. Most Dutch people don’t make it. But … no problem; increase the number of steps by 5 to 10% every day until you reach 10,000 steps or more.
Furthermore, there are all kinds of books with good advice and fun exercise tips (for example at the library)!
Try to adopt a more active lifestyle, then you will come a long way. For extra exercise, look for something that you like, that suits you. Go (belly) dance, skate or jump rope … It does not matter, as long as you move.
People with an active lifestyle consume more calories without going to the gym than people with a less active lifestyle who do go to the gym.
Did you know…
Many people think that you will only start burning fat after 20 minutes or half an hour. This appears to be incorrect; after 20 to 30 minutes, fat burning is optimal (more than 90%). But you start burning fat almost immediately. Not much at first, but after 5 minutes you are already at around 70%! So it is certainly worth taking shorter periods of exercise.
Moreover: It actually doesn’t really matter what you burn for your weight. It is about the total energy that you ingest and that you burn.
Write down your good intentions on your calendar, in your diary, on a memo sheet (near your keys, in your lunchbox, etc.) or put it in your phone. It takes about 3 months before you have learned a new habit. Until then you have to remind yourself regularly.