By Vivian Kessewaa Owusu
Pretty much, everyone appreciates the value of regular physical activities for health. The benefits abound in all aspects of our lives and not health alone. However, for some people, finding the time to exercise has become a challenge because of work pressure.
Exercise is a word that covers a wide range of activities all of which fall into one or more of three broad categories. We have a cardiovascular exercise that includes forms of activity that prolong and provide a good work out for the heart and circulatory system. Examples include walking, running, cycling, swimming, and skipping. They are generally good for improving endurance, fitness, and stamina. This kind of exercise is encouraged if one wants to reduce weight.
Resistance exercise as the name suggests involves moving parts of the body against resistance provided by our own body weight (push-ups) or a piece of equipment (dumbbell or elastic exercise band). This form of exercise is particularly good for improving the strength, tone, definition, and sometimes the size of our muscles. Additionally, it improves body composition and aesthetics but also vital for maintaining functionality as we age, thereby reducing the risk of frailty and injury.
Last but not least is the high-intensity intermittent exercise. This includes activities that involve brief periods of intense exercise like sprinting, interspersed with periods of rest. This type has been to have value for people who are already-fit and are looking to exercising further a bit.
Retreating into a life of inactivity can have an adverse effect on our health, well-being, and quality of life. Regular walking has been shown to improve health in a number of areas including fitness, general health and disease protection where the benefits epidemiologically offer benefits similar to running and risk of injury is really low, brain function relating to executive control tasks like planning, scheduling and multi-tasking, and back pain.
Interestingly exercise can be split up and the effects will be the same as continuous exercise. In a study, women exercised for a total of thirty minutes each day several times each week. For some women, the thirty minutes were made up of one continuous session; for others, they were made up of two fifteen-minute sessions over the course of the day. For still others, the exercise was divided into three ten-minute sessions. All three groups saw improvements in measures of fitness that were essentially the same irrespective of exercise timing (Schmidt WD, et al. Effects of long versus short bout exercise on fitness and weight loss in overweight females. Journal of The American College of Nutrition 2001:20(5):494-501). The evidence suggests that we can derive considerable benefits from activity and exercise even when it is split up into time periods that are quite brief.
To conclude with overwhelming workload and little breather, finding time to walk or engage in some other physical activity is still doable even if it is for a brief period but it should be from time. Even if we work for a solid ten hours a day and sleep for eight hours, we are still left with six hours that be used for exercise.