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Exercise; is it your friend or foe? People all over the world find it hard to exercise on a regular basis. Normally our schedules are just too busy to fit in a little bit of exercise on a daily basis. However, exercise is very important to maintaining proper health, weight and body function.
Exercise is the physical exertion of the body. Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness, health and well-being. Everyone has his or her own reasons for exercising. Some want to strengthen their muscles, others want to lose or maintain weight, even others find it to be fun. Whatever your reason to exercise it is important and fundamental to maintaining our bodies balance. Regular exercise boosts the immune system, prevents disease, improves mental health, prevents depression, promotes positive self-esteem, and augments one’s body image.

In the US the importance of exercise is engrained into our daily lives by the fact that throughout our early education years physical education is a required class all the way up to and through high school. Nonetheless, childhood obesity is on the rise. This is mainly due to the changes in children’s activities over the years. Before kids would play outside all day whereas now kids play on the computer or play station or Xbox or just watch TV. New technologies have encouraged children to get physical exercise less, which is the leading contributor to childhood obesity. Not to mention, that most of the food and after school snacks that children like to eat contain high sugar and fat content. Under these circumstances it is the important for parents and family to teach their children proper eating and exercising habits and to limit the time spent online or in front of the television.

When most people think about exercise, they think about going to the gym and working out on a machine or running, however there are 3 different types of exercising. Flexibility is the first type of exercise, which consists of stretching the muscles and improving range of motion within the muscle groups and joints. Most people would not consider this to be exercising because it doesn’t take a lot of physical strength or doesn’t cause immense sweating. However, stretching is very important for the muscles. Common injuries are usually caused by not stretching, warming up, or cooling down the muscles before and after physical activity.

The second type of exercise is aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise focuses on increasing cardiovascular endurance. These exercises include running, walking, swimming, biking, playing tennis, hiking, etc. Aerobic exercises should increase the heart rate, breathing rate and cause the person to break a sweat (usually, but not always). On the other hand anaerobic exercise, the last type of exercise, focuses on increasing muscle strength through weight training, functional training and sprinting. A combination of all three types of exercise provides the most benefits to the overall body.