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Alva Carpenter/Nutritionist and fitness expert based in the Gulf. Readers can send questions to alvathursday@natural healthlines.com
October 22, 2012 , 4 : 00 am GST
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Exercise is the first step to losing weight and getting healthy even before you start dieting.
Everybody, no matter what their age, needs their own exercise plan and now is a good time to look at everyone's timetables and sort out how they can fit in exercise. Taking exercise is important but in the Gulf there are fewer opportunities for physical exercise, as people drive everywhere. With obesity and diabetes sweeping the Gulf like a tidal wave the whole family needs to factor in exercise as we start afresh after the summer.
Exercise is the first step to losing weight and getting healthy even before you start dieting. Think exercise: it is the first step towards a healthy future. A good quality of life is something we all aspire to and for this we need to feel happy, self-confident and to have good health. Exercise improves your quality of life and when we do not walk except in the shopping mall we need to factor in exercise to be healthy and strong.
Due to technology, heat and traffic, many children in the Gulf spend far too much time sitting in their rooms hunched over a screen mindlessly snacking. Children are getting fatter than ever before and less fit. Worryingly you often see slim parents with overweight children and some research shows that for the first time ever children may have shorter lives than their parents. You cannot blame the children but parents do know better and need to organise activities that teach their children sports skills. Once the children get started they will really enjoy them. Sport is for everyone no matter what your size or shape and it is great fun.
Not all children are sports team material and some would prefer individual tennis lessons or swimming lessons or even a dance class but every child needs some afternoon sport activity and it is up to the parents to support them in finding something they will enjoy. Ideally children should have 45 minutes a day of quality physical education.
Children develop stronger bone structure and muscle structure when they exercise. All children should learn good ball skills and be able to swim by the age of seven. Taking exercise can really make a difference and being fit will increase your chances of enjoying all aspects of your life. Exercise puts you in touch with your body and that makes you feel you want to take care of it.
For adults too sitting for hours at your desk can be slowly killing causing muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip pain as well as weight gain.
The reason exercise works is that it makes you feel good by releasing mood-elevating hormones, and promoting a sense of well-being. In some studies, exercising regularly has helped ease mild to moderate depression and lessens the desire to eat for comfort. When you start taking exercise there is a change in the body and the mind and everything else starts to feel achievable.
The best time to exercise in the hot season is early morning and in the air conditioning. Give the early morning and the best part of the day to yourself. If you wait until you have been out in the heat, it can sap your energy and make you feel tired. To help you get started I invite you to download my award winning mini-morning workout from ardenhealth.com or email for a free copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for amounts of exercise depend on whom you talk to, but the standard advice for adults is at least 30 minutes on at least 3 days a week for significant health benefits. If you have not exercised before start with just a few minutes every day first thing in the morning. That way you get the day off to a good start. Everything helps and you can start gently.
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