Keeping fit and healthy is important to everyone, including those with existing health complaints, although in some cases it may prove more of a challenge. Physical activity can have huge benefits, both to the body and mind and there is something suited to everybody.
It may be the case that an on-going complaint has prevented you being active for some time, or a worsening condition has left you in doubt of your options, but by taking it easy you are in the best position to improve your health and there are a number of ways to start;
- Pay attention to your individual circumstances and have any necessary equipment, medical supplies or aids at hand before embarking on a new fitness regime. This prevents too much pressure being placed on the body from the outset.
- Seek out activities you are interested in, as this increases the likelihood of you not only continuing, but enjoying yourself too. Start out slowly, building up intensity as time goes on.
- Invest in supportive footwear as this is essential at preventing injury. Clothing need not be anything special, but the right shoes for the activity will avoid any stress and strain. Get fitted properly and try before you buy to get the perfect fit.
- If you are reluctant to embark on anything too dramatic, simply try to increase your levels of everyday activity by making small changes. Walk instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the lift and put a bit more effort into household chores.
- Start off with 10 minute bursts, gradually building up to more as time goes on. See your doctor before embarking on a new fitness regime and follow any advice given.
Reaping the rewards
There are countless benefits to increasing activity levels, regardless of how high impact the activity, or how long you do it for. Some of the widespread benefits include;
Your muscles and bones being gradually strengthened, leading to greater core strength and flexibility and reducing the pressure and weakness in the joints.
Increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure and better circulation, helping to prevent weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and a number of other conditions. Greater mental health thanks to improved blood flow and the release of endorphins which create a sense of well-being and contentment, reducing the risk of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders.
Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet can improve memory and concentration and reduce irritability and fatigue. As well as a number of health benefits, exercise can have social benefits too, especially if you choose to take part in a group activity.
Starting a new health and fitness regime can be daunting, especially if you are changing long-held and comfortable habits, or are wary of an existing condition. It’s understandable to be cautious in the beginning but the health benefits far outweigh any risks and it will become easier with time, leading you along the road to greater health and fitness for life.
Peter Sm Jenkins is a health writer who has seen her work published across a number of leading blogs and websites. As well as writing, she enjoys travel and is part of a semi-professional swimming team. In this instance she writes on behalf of bound tree.