Date
23 August 2017
We all know the tremendous benefits of exercise, yet few do it regularly. Motivation is key to forming a personalized exercise routine. Photo: Bloomberg
We all know the tremendous benefits of exercise, yet few do it regularly. Motivation is key to forming a personalized exercise routine. Photo: Bloomberg

Why it is necessary to exercise regularly

No one should doubt the health benefits of exercise. As a psychologist, I often encourage my patients to do more physical activities.

Experts say physical exercise is good for body and mind.

Researchers have identified the following advantages:

1. Exercise could reduce arthritis symptoms by up to 40 percent.

2. Exercise could ease Parkinson’s Disease symptoms and slow down its progress.

3. Exercise could lower the chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

4. Prolonged sitting would increase the risk of depression, diabetes and even early death.

5. Sitting for too long or having inadequate exercise would lead to cell ageing, especially for older women.

6. Standing up and moving around for five minutes for every hour of sitting could improve health.

7. Aerobic exercise and weight training could enhance cognitive functions.

8. Just 20 minutes of exercise may help fight inflammation in the body.

9. Exercise improves mental health.

10. Exercise may reduce the risk of developing 13 types of cancers — esophageal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer of the cardia (top portion of the stomach), endometrial cancer, myeloid leukemia, myeloma, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, rectal cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer.

Doing sports not only could help prevent us from falling ill, it could also greatly ease any existing symptoms. What is more significant is that physical activities can improve mental wellness, moods and cognitive functions.

Although most of us are well informed of the benefits, not many exercise regularly. Not surprisingly, those who are troubled by low moods are found to have developed no habit of physical activity.

In order to turn regular exercise into a habit of a lifetime, the following steps are recommended:

First, identify a reason, such as improving physical strength or keeping fit.

Then, understand your body for clear signals that it’s time for sports.

Third, stand up, move around or stretch for five minutes for every hour of sitting. Get a reason to walk out of the office.

Lastly, schedule your sports hours in a planner and begin regular sports from moderate to high intensity.

Whenever you feel slow and dreary, just move your body and sweat it out. It will improve your body and mind.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 5

Translation by John Chui

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/FC/RA

Clinical psychologist

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