Why is Exercise Important?

Why is Exercise Important?

Most people today are so busy and have no time for physical activity. Some are just so lazy that instead of using the stairs one level up or down would use the elevator. Instead of walking to a grocery store 300 meters away would use the car.

Here are some of the good things exercise can do for you:

  • Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and quality of life.
  • It can reduce the possibility of acquiring diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Exercise helps people to lose weight.
  • It keeps your joints tendons and ligaments to be flexible reducing the tendency of falling.
  • Exercise can help a person age well or reduce some of the effects of aging, especially the discomfort of osteoarthritis.
  • It can help relieve stress and improve sleep.
  • It can increase strength and endurance.
  • It can increase metabolism which contributes to attaining normal body weight
  • It helps lower cholesterol level
  • It helps maintain normal blood pressure
  • It provides the opportunity for increased social contacts
  • It may block negative thoughts from daily worries
  • It may affect the level of brain chemicals such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic (or Cardio exercise) is the type of moderate-intensity physical activity that you can do for more than just a few minutes with the objective of improving your cardiorespiratory fitness and your health. “Aerobic” means in the presence of air or oxygen.

Dancing, running, jogging, biking, swimming, and martial arts are some examples of aerobic exercise. You should know if you are not overexerting it by being able to talk, otherwise, you should slow down or take a rest. Join a group or find a partner for whatever exercise you want to indulge in. Remember to talk first to your doctor before starting any activity.


How Much is Needed to Attain the Full Benefits of Aerobic Exercises?

The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes or more of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days per week to improve health and fitness. “Accumulated” means you can do it in shorter bouts throughout the day (for example, 10- or 15-minute intervals throughout the day), and “moderate-intensity” means you feel warm and slightly out of breath when you do it. You can read more about the Surgeon General’s “lifestyle” recommendation at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/sgr/sgr.htm.


How to Get Started on an Aerobic Exercise Program?

Try to find an aerobic dance group in your area. The instructor and your groupmates will assist you on how to start the program. If you can’t find one, try to get a program routine in youtube and just follow the instructions there. Another option is to do a stationary or outdoor biking, walking, hiking, swimming, and jogging.

Start your workout with a five to ten-minute warm-up. Start slowly and then speed up once your muscles and heart have accommodated to the work. Most people know when their body is warmed up. Muscles feel looser and you feel easy to move.


How to Cool Down After Aerobic Exercise?

A three to five-minute cooldown is needed after completing the workout. Muscles are given the time to slow down and avoid the risk of feeling dizzy. This is important to avoid pooling of blood in the legs from standing still when individuals suddenly stop the aerobic exercise. Cooling down is important as this gives a chance for the whole body to slow down gradually. You can do stretching or walking as you cool down.


Is Aerobic Exercise Safe?

Safety guidelines from the ACSM state that individuals at low or moderate health risk can begin a moderate-intensity exercise plan without a medical exam or exercise stress test. People at high risk should be evaluated by their doctor. You are at high risk if you have:

  • known cardiovascular, pulmonary, or metabolic (for example, diabetes) disease, including:
  • History of a heart attack
  • If your father or another male first-degree relative died suddenly before 55 years of age from a heart attack or before 65 years of age in your mother or other first-degree female relatives
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest, neck, jaw, arms, or other areas that may be due to ischemia (restriction of blood flow to the heart)
  • Shortness of breath at rest or with mild exertion
  • Dizziness or temporary losses of consciousness or posture
  • Ankle swelling (edema)
  • Palpitations (rapid heartbeats)
  • Intermittent claudication (pain after mild to moderate exercise that resolves with rest)
  • Known heart murmur
  • Unusual fatigue or shortness of breath with normal activities


Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic Exercises are exercises and movements that require a short burst of intense energy without air or oxygen. Instead of using fats for energy, anaerobic exercise uses glucose in the muscles as fuel. A lot of energy is released within a small period of time, and your oxygen demand surpasses the oxygen supply. Aerobic exercise can use fat and glucose for fuel with the presence of oxygen, but anaerobic exercise can only use glucose as fuel without oxygen.

When you begin to exercise vigorously, there is a temporary shortage of oxygen getting delivered to your working muscles. That means anaerobic exercise must be fueled using glucose through a process called glycolysis.

Weightlifting, sprints, jumping, jumping rope, high-intensity interval training, and biking are samples of anaerobic exercise.


Benefits of Anaerobic Exercises

  • Increases bone strength and density
  • In addition to helping your body handle lactic acid more effectively, anaerobic exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • It can increase your power. A 2008 study conducted on division 1A baseball players found that players who did eight 20- to 30-second wind sprints three days a week saw their power increase by an average of 15 percent throughout the season.
  • Anaerobic exercise helps boost metabolism as it builds and maintains lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn during your next sweat session. High-intensity exercise is also thought to increase your post-workout calorie burn.
  • By regularly training above your anaerobic threshold, the body can increase its ability to handle lactic acid, which increases your lactic thresholdTrusted Source, or the point at which you experience fatigue. That means you’ll be able to work out harder, for longer.
  • Studies show that anaerobic exercise, like strength training, can boost your moodTrusted Source and even fight depression.
  • Reduces the risk of disease Gains in strength and bone density attained by high-intensity anaerobic training, like bodyweight squats and pushups, can reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
  • By building your muscle strength and muscle mass, your joints will be better protected, meaning you’ll have greater protection against injury.
  • Consistent anaerobic exercise increases your body’s ability to store glycogen (what your body uses as energy), giving you more energy for your next bout of intense physical activity. This can improve your athletic ability.

Take Away

11 thoughts on “Why is Exercise Important?”

  1. Thanks for your sharing! An awesome post. Now I know clearer about the advantages of Anaerobic Exercise. I think I should do some Anaerobic Exercise because my muscles are not strong enough. And I only focus on aerobic exercise. I found my muscles are not strong enough to dance well. How much anaerobic exercise should I do every week? Any thoughts on this?

    • Anaerobic exercise can be done at least once a week. It all depends on your capacity. It is hard and tiring compared to aerobic exercise because you have to do it with maximum effort in a short time. Sprinting and jumping rope is good for women to build strength.

  2. I guess I’m guilty of both being busy and lazy where exercise is concerned. DIdn’t realize there is a huge difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Just wondering which one works best if I’m to shed some fat off?

  3. Hi Emilio,

    Great post! Exercise is so important for our physical and well-being. I would think that by 2019 most people would recognize that however, I still see so many people that do not exercise at all. It’s crazy. In my experience, exercise is more powerful than any drug every created in terms of making you feel great. Even if I am having a tough day, a workout will almost always turn it around. I think if more people turned to exercise instead of drugs and alcohol, there would be far lower levels of depression. Thanks for the great information!

  4. Hi, Emilio.

    Thank you for this great information. I am a fitness freak, so I tend to read everything I can about sports and exercise; I’m always worried to miss out on the latest trend.

    I’m exercising every single day, but getting bored with my routine lately. So, I actually think I will try some in-depth aerobics, just as you suggested above. I was thinking of picking up Tai Chi. Does that count as aerobics, too?

    I don’t know, I guess I’d rather learn it because of the mental and spiritual benefits, as I really do get enough sporty activity throughout the week.

    Have you ever tried Tai Chi? If so, what’s your experience with it? I’m totally unfamiliar with this martial art, so I’d like to know a little more about it before I get started.

    Thank you for the lovely tips.

    I’m sending you much love, harmony and happiness,


    • Hi Alexandra,
      Tai chi was originally practiced as self-defense similar to kungfu but later evolved into a graceful movement of exercise while meditating. The gentle flowing movements create serenity and peace of mind. reducing stress in the process. This belongs to aerobic exercise meaning you breathe while executing in slow fashion.

  5. Thanks for writing this post Emilio, loved reading it.

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you have written. It’s so sad how lazy the world is becoming and amazing at how much of a difference a mere 30 mins every few days can make to our overall health and wellbeing!

    Can’t wait to read your future posts 🙂

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