We all know that exercise is good for us. But knowing and actually doing it are different. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2019, it was found that 40.2% of Singaporeans (aged 18-74) do not participate in any leisure-time physical activity. Obviously we’re not a very fit nation. To encourage healthy living, MOH drew up a chart to encourage at least 150 minutes of simple physical activities each week. Even kite-flying and a 5-minute walk to the bus stop count.
So, what happens when you commit to doing more intense exercises 4 or 5 times a week? You’ll get fitter, of course!
Take running as an example. When we run, our heart and lungs work harder to supply more oxygen that our muscles need. At rest, we breathe about 15 times a minute. But when we’re running, we breathe in between 40 and 60 times a minute. Over time, not only do our muscles get stronger, our lungs and heart too get stronger. Our body become more efficient at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and to the muscles. We get fit.
The other benefit of running regularly is that we’re also burning more calories. At the very least, we experience a temporary increase in metabolism. Increased metabolism means more calories are burned. Studies have shown that a mere 30-minute run can keep our increase our metabolism for up to 2 days. We will lose weight as a result, provided that a sensible and healthy diet is also maintained.
A recent article in the New York Times noted that due to the pandemic, many people are experiencing the blues. The author identified that yucky feeling with a term called “languishing.” He wrote that people may feel “joyless and aimless… muddling through”our days.
If that’s what getting you down, then regular exercise can potentially alleviate those feelings. This is because as we exercise, our body releases endorphins and these hormones can lift our mood all day. That is why it might better not to exercise too late in the day, or we’ll have troubles sleeping.
Stress-busting is another benefit that we get from regular exercise. When we are stressed, cortisol levels in our body increases to deal with the stress. However, if we’re constantly stressed, we may find it hard to concentrate, gain weight or worse, experience high blood pressure. Regular exercise can help us to better manage stress and lower cortisol levels.
Regular exercise can also improve our bone density. Changing the way we run, by including sprints and rests in between, can work our bones hard. In turn, this builds bone density. It is established that when bone density improves, osteoporosis can be prevented.
There are innumerable benefits that we can derive from regular exercise. As we work more from home these days, we may inadvertently be leading a more sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle will in turn lead to health problems. Avoid that by incorporating an exercise routine into our schedule and keep at it.
If you choose to exercise outdoors, be sure to take along your pair of Sunday Shades. Sundays Shades are polarized and offer UV 400 protection. They’re great for athletes, as they are designed for the Asian profile and so they fit well, don’t bounce and are extremely lightweight. Check them out here.