The population of Nigeria is getting older. People want to look good as they inevitably age. As life expectancy increases, there is the need to keep fit and healthy by staying physically active and eating a balanced, wholesome, moderate diet.
Every morning in Nigeria, many people can be seen performing some sort of exercise, whether walking, running, and cycling or doing aerobics. Some people prefer to work out in the numerous gyms that are available in urban areas. But what is exercise and how does it improve overall good health?
Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning the body. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues and helps the heart and lungs work more efficiently. There are three different types of exercises depending on the overall effect they have on the human body
Aerobic exercise recruits large muscle groups and causes the body to use more oxygen to increase cardiovascular endurance. This includes running, cycling, swimming, speed walking, hiking, dancing and long distance running.
Anaerobic exercise, which includes strength and resistance training can firm, strengthen and increase muscle mass, as well as improve bone density, balance, and coordination. These include push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats, bench press and weight training.
Flexibility exercises stretch and lengthen muscles and help to improve joint flexibility and keep muscles limber to improve the range of motion which can reduce the chance of injury.
Regular exercise has numerous benefits, including preventing weight gain and maintaining a healthy weight, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Exercise also increases life expectancy which is low in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to the developed world.
A sedentary lifestyle and excess caloric consumption are the primary causes of this increase in overweight and obesity. So go out there and exercise regularly. You will be glad you did.
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