Anything which places a demand on us can lead to mental stress. Every individual undergo stress for one reason or another on a routine basis. Mental stress and tension has become an integral part of our lives. Not alone adults, stress has become very common even in children. Today, every individual is driven by the fierce competition in whatever field he works. Due to this hectic life schedule, we get in to poor health habits of eating unhealthy, lack of physical activity and constant mental stress. It is because of these vices, every other individual is suffering from one illness to another ranging from obesity, depression to hypertension or heart disease and so on. Therefore, it has become extremely important for each of us to incorporate some form of physical activity in our routine life. Physical activity involves simple bodily movements caused by skeletal muscles which require expenditure of energy.
In spite of knowing the importance and health benefits of physical activity, we fail to do so in our day to day life as we do not have the 'much needed' time. We feel our days are too hectic to take out time for physical activity. We have become so habituated to our sedentary life style that we give ourselves some excuses or the other. But I believe, if we can make up our mind, we can get it started, come what may. We need to be honest and make a realistic approach. Doing any kind of simple activity can burn our extra calories. Instead of breaking our hectic day schedule, we need to start the day by being consciously active or do at least 10 -15 mins of physical exercise in the morning or evening or may be during our lunch break at office. Once this becomes a habit, we can slowly increase the time slot as convenient. Other than this, we can increase physical activity in our workplace by making a habit of climbing staircase instead of using the lift, taking a brisk walk during our tea/ coffee break, getting a stop early or parking our vehicle a little far and walk down to office or enrol ourselves in our office gym. At home, there are a dozen of physical activities which can be helpful like cleaning the house, playing with the kids, doing stretches while watching the TV, working in the garden or walking down the neighbourhood. When these activities become our routine, we will never have problem following them. Routine physical activity helps us to sleep well and reduce the stress and tensions. Good sleep helps our mind to think and learn better. Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of premature death and helps in increasing our lifespan.
Researches shows that an average adult doing moderately physical activity for about 150 minutes weekly can lengthen his or her lifespan easily. People with chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases can take up physical activity as per their doctor's guidance. If we want to consider more towards physical fitness and healthy weight range, we can enrol in activities like dancing classes, swimming, cycling or jogging. Physical activity would benefit even individuals with chronic illnesses. Enough studies have already proved that muscle strengthening activities helps in reducing the risk of depression and anxiety. Muscle strengthening activities are those that improve our muscle strength. These can be activities like lifting or carrying, walking uphill or stairs climbing. Gym exercises like weight training is also a very useful form of muscle strengthening activity.
Likewise in case of children, physical activity helps to promote both physical and psychological growth. Everyday, they need to be engaged to some form of moderate to vigorous physical activity both in school and at home in the form of sports and physical exercises. Children can be enrolled in dancing, swimming, cycling or any activity which they would enjoy doing. Lack of physical activity can make them lethargic, obese and prone to illnesses including heart disease and diabetes. Children who are active are more motivated and would fare well in academics and extra curriculum. When parents start adopting an active lifestyle, children too would follow and learn to be physically active. Regardless to race, ethnicity or any physical size, shape, regular physical activity benefits all and overall good health would increase our life expectancy.
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A Medical Professional who likes writing on health related topics.