How is physical activity related to health? Can physical activity improve your state of health?
You may take these questions for granted but you shouldn’t.
And do you know why? Because they deal with the way in which you get ready to exercise and how you do it.
In other words, they deal with the cadence, the intensity and the kind of energy and food support you have when you work out.
I will talk about all of them in this article.
Moreover, I’ll tell you about some benefits which come from a healthy and regular physical activity and 8 tips to plan your training program.
But first, I’d like to ask you one question:
According to you, what makes people of all around the world feel motivated enough to wake up early, everyday, and work out?
Why do these people are fine with the lack of sleep, in order to go out and run?
Do you think they’re in love with sports and they work out for that reason?
Mmmmh… I don’t think so.
As you can imagine, there are deeper motivations that lead these people to set the alarm and devote themselves to a scheduled program.
These reasons gave those people moments of extraordinary beauty which they will always remember.
So, I guess you agree with the fact that there are no words to express what you feel when you run and there is a sunset or a sunrise right in front of you. That’s wonderful!
These reasons also gave them (over time) a clean bill of health which made their Immune System stronger and consequently caused the reactivity of their organism.
Before talking about these reasons, (right after the index) I’ll tell you about a quick story which made me write this article.
~ INDEX ~
- “You’re so skinny, why do you go running?”
- Do you go running in order to lose weight?’ A common thought
- Exercising makes your molecules vibrate and it gives oxygen to your blood
- “Golly, I feel so good!”
- You just need to run or take a brisk walk for 30 minutes
- 8 tips to plan a training program
- Dynamism and creativity
- Outdoor or indoor physical activity?
- If you eat well you can run less
- Other good sides related to a healthy and regular physical activity
~ ~ ~
“YOU’RE SO SKINNY, WHY DO YOU GO RUNNING?“
Every Sunday morning – more or less – when I come back from running, the lady living next door hears me climbing the stairs, so she opens the door and says:
“Why do you always go running? You’re so skinny, you don’t need to do it!”
Everytime I smile, since I know which question she is going to ask me like clock work.
And since she always asks the same question, I always give the same answer:
“Good Morning Piera, how are you?… actually, I do it to keep myself in shape and not to lose weight, do you remember?“
Now you must think she is some kind of crazy person since she always looks out of the window and asks me the same question, right?
At first, before getting to know her, I can assure you I thought she was crazy. I told myself…
She must have some issues concerning her memory or something!
But then, I understood that was just a way to chat with someone and to have some company.
You should know she can’t walk or see properly. This makes her stay almost always home.
So, everytime she sees me she tries to talk to me (about the same topics) and she also invites me to drink something at her place.
I accepted the aperitif just for the first time, since I made the Vegan Choice years ago which improved my quality of life beyond my furthest thoughts.
Anyway, after this brief interlude, let’s get back to business.
“DO YOU GO RUNNING IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT?” ? A COMMON THOUGHT
You see, what my neighbor thinks – about physical activity being something that only overweight people should do – is a common thought.
However, this thought especially concerns those who have never learnt about it enough to understand how much important it is.
Those who learnt about the links between physical activity and health understood that:
EXERCISING MAKES YOUR MOLECULES VIBRATE AND IT GIVES OXYGEN TO YOUR BLOOD
Let’s talk about the important side, namely the benefits you get from doing some healthy and regular physical activity.
Well, it has a leading role when it’s about disease prevention. Through physical activity, our skeletal muscles improve their contraction and this latter improves our blood circulation. Then there is a more efficient transport of oxygen and of the different nutrients to tissues.
But that’s not all. You should know that physical activity:
- Regulates your blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of heart attacks and seizures
- Decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad one) in your blood and it increases the levels of HDL cholesterol (the good one)
- Reduces the risk of contracting diabetes type 2
- Helps to keep an eye on your weight
- Prevents the bone loss which could lead to osteoporosis over time
- Speeds up the emptying and the colon and intestinal cleanse by positively stimulating intestinal peristalsis
- Improves digestion for the stomach
- Normalizes the liver conditions ( a ‘foie-gras’ is what comes from eating habits which make us eat more food, so we have more energy if compared to the actual consumption – that takes place through muscle activity, namely physical exercise)
- Makes muscles, articulations and bones stronger
- Gives you a brand new psychological well-being that helps you to relax and sleep well
- Reduces the fatigue caused by pressure at work and it preserves your nervous energy
- Protects you from neuro-degenerative diseases
- Reduces the risk of falling (given the strength training and the motion)
- Helps you to get better sooner from hospitalization or from resting in bed
- Increases your sexual desire
- Relieves you from stress, anxiety, depression and anger
- Improves your self-esteem
Not bad, right?
“GOLLY, I FEEL SO GOOD!“
You, whose butt is shaped like an armchair, who have probably been running or doing some physical activity once in your lifetime (maybe you played beach volley, tennis or soccer).
Mmmm… no, a game of boules with grandpa Philip and his friend Osvaldo is not physical activity. So, put it off until you’re 90 years old.
Well, after working out, you surely may have thought:
“Golly, I feel so good!”
If you didn’t notice that, I invite you doing it from now on, namely after reading this article, drawing up a weekly plan with your favourite sports and practicing them consistently and with devotion.
After a break-in, you’ll notice the benefits you’ll get.
If physical activity is so good, it’s because it keeps your mind and body in shape.
On the contrary…
There’s an old saying that (when I read it) impressed me, and I’ve been quoting it when facing this topic since then. It says:
It makes sense, don’t you think?
YOU JUST NEED TO RUN OR TAKE A BRISK WALK FOR 30 MINUTES
If you’ve got a dog, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You probably walk 30 minutes (if not 60 minutes) per day with your four-legged companion.
If you’re not lucky enough to have a furry companion, well, look for a friend who could share this 30 minutes with you.
What could we do?
Well, you could take a walk to the park, for example… by the sea, or by the streets of the city.
What matters is not to lose your rhythm: you must walk quickly. Alternatively, choose a light running.
If you lack of energy, go slowly… on the contrary, try to press on the rhythm.
If you decide to take a walk by the streets of the city, do not waste your time with the shops. There will be time for shopping later.
Your health, today… now… is the priority!
Half hour of walking corresponds to 3 hours and a half of walking per week, namely (if your rhythm is steady and determined) 21 km per week.
It may not be a record, but all that matters is starting to gradually get some of the benefits we talked about earlier.
Let’s now talk about the tips you should follow to draw up a weekly training plan.
8 TIPS TO PLAN A TRAINING PROGRAM
Waking up at 5 in the morning and going running, exercising a little bit after work from time to time or joining a gym and going to this latter for two days a month is practically useless.
Some could say “Well, it’s better than nothing!”
Si, si … è già qualcosa certo. If there are total lazyness and idleness, 15 minutes on a treadmill are all well and good.
But if your goal is not losing 1 kg of fat by running and gaining 2 of them after stopping being constant, I invite you draw up a training program by following these 8 tips:
A plan is needed to stimulate yourself positively. It should encourage you to achieve those goals you thought you’d never achieved by respecting the importance of dedication and physical effort. So face it and realize it with confidence and positivity. How? By going to the park on a beautiful day. After that, sit on a bench and start writing on paper (or on an ipad, on a smartphone) what and when you’d like to do during your training of the week.
Be cautious, do not exceed with the efforts, otherwise there will be stress and that’s not a goal we’d like to achieve. If you feel like ‘going further’, do it. If you feel tired, go slowly or stop. You should not stress your muscles (being them your quads or your heart), and train them at the right times. The more you train yourself, the more you’ll notice that you can run 5 or 8 km and not just 3.
Do not plan things randomly by choosing random days and times. Be honest with your training appointments. What does ‘be honest’ mean? This is a serious thing. If you think you may not be able to train yourself that day at that time, do not write it on paper. It would affect your self-esteem and the respect you have for your choices.
Among the sport activities, choose the ones which deal with involvement and fun. If you like tennis, for example, join a course or invite a friend to play on the weekend. It should be a pleasure, but also a weekly appointment: that would be a good start. The same goes in the case of swimming, running, cycling, volleyball and so on.
Rather than 3 days (or 5 days) per week during which you’re not sure you’ll be free… choose one (or 2 days) per week during which you’re sure you’ll be free to train yourself.
Once you have written it down, avoid to make other appointments. Leave a blank space 1 hour before and 1 hour after your training. Remember you’re doing it for yourself and your health, what’s more important than that?!
Buy the equipment you need to train yourself (this step is very important!). Being it a simple suit with a good pair of shoes to go running, a tennis racket or a swimsuit and a hairnet, get what you need to do the sports you chose to do. This will help you to be loyal with your training program. Once you bought the objects, keep them in sight so that, when looking at them, you can remember about your commitment.
Start! Be confident! Do it with constance and resilience.
Remember that, even if the sports you choose may be fun, there will always be some sacrifices to do if you really want to carry on with your program consistently and seriously.
Sometimes it will be so cold that you would like not to get out of the bed.
Sometimes it will pour down rain. Or you went home too late the night before and you would like not to wake up at the estimated time.
So, there could be many ‘excuses’ to use.
But if you made this choice seriously and with the right reasons, such as the importance of your health, then you’ll be able to wake up every morning and you’ll go training yourself day by day.
DYNAMISM AND CREATIVITY
Monotony is no friend of our daily life… and personally I can assure you that it is not friend of the training plan you’re thinking about as well.
In other words, if you’ve chosen the activities to do during the first week, you should diversify the first two weeks from the last two so that your plan won’t be boring. Otherwise, you could chose different activities to do every other week.
► First week: Monday / Running – Wednesday / Swimming – Friday / Running
► Second week: Tuesday / Tennis match (with Charles) – Thursday / Football match (with friends)
► Third Week: Monday / Running – Wednesday / Yoga – Friday / Brisk walk (with aunt Enrica and her dog)
► Fourth Week: Tuesday / Mountains Trekking (with Patricia and Leo) – Thursday / Yoga, Meditation and Visualisation
Well, this kind of plan could be a good start!
OUTDOOR OR INDOOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
Personally, I have no objection to indoor physical activity. Also, honestly, I must say I used to swim and attend indoor judo or yoga courses.
However, indoor physical activitiy needs more windows to be constantly open (or half-open if it’s too cold).
In this way you can provide people with ventilation and oxygen supply.
Even if they’re sitting, people consume oxygen and they emit carbon dioxide.
This makes me think of when, for example, I walk in my classroom to have lessons. The first thing I notice is the incredible stench given by the fact that students do not have the good habit of opening the windows.
So, I leave the door open for at least 10 minutes and I ask my students (even if they give me the evil eye, especially during winter) to open the windows since an air exchange is needed.
Let alone the fact of doing physical activity indoor …
In this case there is a dramatic increase of consume of oxygen.
For example, an athlete who’s in full physical effort consumes a quantity of oxygen of around 4000 ml/min, namely around 240 lt/per hour.
In resting conditions, on the other hand, oxygen consumption is on average 200 – 250 ml / min, or about 12 – 15 l / hour.
After this simple but important point, if you have a choice, I suggest you choose to do outdoor physical activity. Moreover, the more you stay in contact with nature, the better.
If you’re lucky enough to do it (since not everyone has the woods five minutes away), indoor physical activity is fine as long as the building is ventilated.
IF YOU EAT WELL YOU CAN RUN LESS
This is an important point. I often meet people who go running and can’t (unfortunately) hide their belly.
So, when sometimes we talk, some of them tell me “even if I run or I take many long walks, I can’t seem to slim down!“
Then I ask spontaneously: “I’m sorry but, how do you eat?“.
I won’t even tell you about the answers: it’s worse than you can imagine.
So I wonder why they make efforts during their work out if once home they go straight to open the fridge and eat cold cuts or cheese.
It does not make any sense, don’t you think?
You should understand something once and for all.
If you eat meat, eggs, milk, you damage your body and you don’t provide it with energy… instead, you cause a useless digestive energy expenditure.
If you are on a traditional diet and you follow the classical mediterranean diet, you should do some physical activity everyday.
On the contrary, instead… if you follow a natural diet, with raw vegetables and fruit, seeds, whole cereals and steamed legumes… then you can do less physical activity.
Maybe twice or three times a week for an hour or half an hour.
This way you’re going to slim down, without making any effort during your work out.
OTHER GOOD SIDES RELATED TO A HEALTHY AND REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Apart from the ones we’ve already talked about, there are some underestimated good sides that come from physical activity, they are very important and they are listed below.
- Helps you to stop smoking and not to feel the desire of smoking tobacco
- Provides you with funny ways to spend some time with family, friends and pets
- Helps you to spend more time outdoor and with your community
All this can be added to a smaller number of medical expenses, medical interventions and medicines…
And that’s not bad!
So, what about it? Shall we start to implement a plan for a tempting training plan of the week?
Translated by Ilenia Micalizio