No Matter Your Size or Shape, Exercise!

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Gymnastics instructor and Chief Executive Officer of Fit Out Gym, Tony Ikpowonsa, has stressed the benefits of exercise to the human body.

Ikpowonsa says when done properly and with persistence, physical exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to body tissues, thereby helping the cardiovascular system to work efficiently.

This is in tandem with fitness expert at Stanford University, Dr. Fatima Cody, who stated that stress is mounting on account of global experience with COVID-19, and that people may need to find a way to decompress while social distancing.

Cody recommended exercise as a way of “decompressing.”

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin, Edo State, Ikpowonsa said regular physical activity can also improve muscle strength and boost human endurance.

“When the condition of the heart and lungs improve, there would be more energy to tackle daily chores, just as exercises could either help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss.

“When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Any form of activity is better than none,” Ikpowonsa said.

This is even as Cody reiterated that it is imperative to find simple activities you can do.

“You might think that you need to be a certain size or already in shape to engage in exercise.

“This is simply not true, nor is it helpful for your health and well-being, since exercise — even small amounts — helps improve blood pressure, heart problems, blood sugar control, and mood. It can help you live longer, too,” she counselled.

Ikpowonsa added that in order to reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day, take stairs instead of elevator or rev up your household chores.

“Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides.

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“This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases,” he said.

Ikpowonsa also noted that regular exercise helps in either preventing or managing health problems such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, cancer and arthritis.

He advised the general public to exercise regularly in order to improve their cognitive functions and lower the risk of sudden death.

Cody advised that before you start counting minutes, understand that almost anything that gets your body moving counts as exercise, and active minutes add up over your day and week.

“Every week, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity.

“So, depending on the intensity of exercise, that could be 30 minutes (moderate) — or just 15 minutes (vigorous) — five days a week,” she said.

Experts also recommend muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.

Explaining further, Cody said, “Moderate activity raises your heart rate, makes you break out into a sweat, and allows you to talk but not sing.”

Such moderate activities include walking at a brisk pace, water aerobics, pushing a lawn mower or a vacuum, riding a bicycle on flat ground or casual dancing.

On the other hand, vigorous activity causes a large increase in your heart rate, you breathe very hard, and you are only able to say a few words, not full sentences.
Such vigorous activities including jogging or running, playing basketball, swimming laps or riding a bicycle fast or on hills.

Experts, however, counsel that you discuss with your doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise, especially if you have health challenges or are advanced in age.

(NAN and other sources)

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