One of the key ways to have a healthy lifestyle this New Year is to ensure you have regular moderate exercise. Once again this is best achieved as part of your daily routine. The benefits are widely understood to improve all areas of our health, including the operation of our heart and other vital organs, our moods, sleep, energy and even sex life.
But what exercise represents one of the best ways to have a healthy lifestyle? Perhaps one of the best ways is to find a set of exercises to start your day. The BoxingScene.com website tells us that getting into the habit of loosening up before breakfast helps us regulate our appetite throughout the day, jump starts your metabolism and gives you energy from the beginning. A routine based on Tai Chi or Yoga would be ideal but you could also consult a qualified physiotherapist to have some recommended exercises. It need only take fifteen to thirty minutes from your morning before breakfast but the benefits could be significant. It is always a good idea to exercise as early as possible since the longer you leave it the more chance there is that you will get distracted and not exercise at all.
Loosening up early on is always useful but another of the ways to lead a healthy lifestyle is to create the opportunity for a longer period of aerobic exercise to get the heart and lungs working. This can be any sport that motivates you and encourages you to continue exercising regularly (and there are many from which to choose) but the best activities involve walking, running, swimming or cycling. Running is excellent of course but can result in long-term joint damage and swimming is also ideal although, like running, is not that convenient (unless you have your own pool). This leaves cycling and walking, which are great exercise but importantly can be easily built into the day’s routine.
If you are like me you might struggle to find the time to exercise every day. Walking and cycling however can fit easily into the day. If you have an appointment a mile or two away, leave the car and walk or cycle instead. Make it a rule never to use the car for short journeys. Doing the same for the trip to work if you can will get you fit very quickly and must be one of the best ways to have a healthy lifestyle. But why stop there? If you visit the shops by car, park at the far end of the car park (where most empty spaces are) and walk a little further. Most of us park as close to the door as we can but parking further out will help your health no end.
Another great way to ensure you use one of the ways to have a healthy lifestyle is to own a dog. Apart from the benefits arising from the affection most dogs will show, you will be encouraged to take your animal for a walk every day. This gives you exercise and fresh air, which can only be good.
In a later article we will talk about hobbies and interests and the how they too are among the best ways to have a healthy lifestyle. One of the benefits is the exercise they provide.
The Chicago Tribune website did a study of gardening as exercise in 2011. They discovered that gardening can burn around 300 calories an hour and can be good both for the heart and the muscles. Like all exercise, however, it needs to undertaken with care and, if you intend to undertake a rigorous exercise regime, it would be wise to consult a medical professional first.
Two more of the benefits of choosing an outdoors sport or activity as one of the ways to have a healthy lifestyle are sunshine and fresh air. Stay indoors and you are breathing stale air but go outside and the fresh air will encourage you to breathe deeply, so expanding the lungs. Maybe stay away from congested traffic or other pollution however!
Sunshine also provides a feeling of well being and also copious amounts of useful vitamin D. This vitamin benefits the heart and circulation and studies have shown it can reduce the loss of bone density often related to old age. Be careful not to overdo the sunshine however as burning and skin cancer are definitely not good for the health.
Being outdoors also has beneficial psychological effects. Sunshine in particular has been shown to reduce depression through the production of the body’s natural endorphin anti-depressants. Even a good brisk walk in the cold, sun or rain can provide a surprisingly positive outlook on life. In my experience getting out in all weathers (wearing the correct clothing) reduces the depressive effects of dull days.
There seems to be no doubt that taking exercise whenever we can is one of the best ways to have a healthy lifestyle. The satisfaction you get from moderate exercise and the optimum weight you will achieve will change your outlook considerably – and, done sensibly, you will have less illness.