THE EDITOR: With all the talk about obesity, it makes sense to take control of our health by exercising on a regular basis. Over time you will see many positive physical, mental, and social health-enhancing benefits. Your quality of life vastly improves and vigour as well.
You have heard this several times but it needs to be repeated that frequent exercise reduces your risk of contracting diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and depression. It improves mood and also results in longevity and maintenance of independence into older age.
In everything we do there are advantages and disadvantages. Exercise is no different as you can suffer an injury. But exercise-related injuries are relatively minor, with only a period of rest needed. And the overall health benefits far outweigh the risk.
A lot of children aged 14-15 years are diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure due to being overweight or obese. But this can be reversed by promoting healthy nutrition which encourages children – as well as adults – to make healthy food choices, use correct portion sizes, and eat fruit and vegetables regularly.
I appeal to the public to live active lifestyles by joining a gym or indulging in other physical activities. This will improve self-confidence and self-esteem in children and young adults. It should be noted that happy youth with high self-esteem are unlikely to become involved in crime, and programmes that increase happiness and self-confidence could also deter drug use.
As you begin your workout, your brain’s neurotransmitters connect memory with muscle to get you moving. The feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment you experience during your workout stimulate the pleasure centre of your brain and lift your mood.
Consistent workouts at the gym will eventually help you achieve your fitness goals. And when you look in the mirror and see a leaner, fitter-looking body staring back at you, your self-esteem and self-confidence are likely to improve.
Time spent with other people in a spin or aerobics class provides a social environment where you can reap the emotional benefits gained through the camaraderie you develop with gym members.
It is important to remember that when it comes to physical activity, anything is better than nothing. Start with whatever seems manageable. Even a ten-minute walk on the treadmill can be beneficial to your health. You will likely be able to increase the amount and frequency of physical activity slowly as you start to feel better.
Generally, doctors recommend about 20-30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week, but it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider to decide what’s the best plan that will work for you and suit your lifestyle.
SIMON WRIGHT, Chaguanas