April 13, 2015

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 31 days of heaven to athletic people and a yank back to reality for those who are not.

Physical exercise has proved time and time again to be a major contributor to living a healthy life. Research shows that not only does it strengthen your bones and muscles and control your weight; it reduces your risk of sicknesses like cancer and diabetes, and even increases your chances of living longer. Participating in physical activities can improve your reflexes, clear your mind, and improve your mental health and mood.

Of course, physical exercise isn’t for everybody. Many, many people detest playing sports and participating in outdoor activities. Numerous people believe that in order to attain a fit body, they have to vigorously exercise every day for hours, and give up at their first try. In a way, it’s sort of true. An hour of physical activity is ideal for maintaining a healthy life, but it does not mean that those sixty minutes have to be filled with forceful training.

A few stretches a day is a great improvement for people who don’t usually participate in physical exercise. At first, it may seem like the end of the world, but a few everyday will slowly help people get into the habit. Jogging is, again, another great way to stay fit. Just jog around your neighborhood, maybe even walk the first couple of times, and slowly it will evolve into running.

Of course these types of exercises aren’t the only ways to stay healthy. Yoga is an excellent choice for those who would rather stay inside. Yoga not only improves your flexibility and improves your posture; it has major health contributions like preventing cartilage and joint breakdown, protecting your spine, and increasing blood flow. Yoga is a more relaxing route in the world of physical activity, and even giving it just a few minutes every day will improve your health, and even help you calm down after a stressful day. (Oh, another upside to physical exercise: it lowers anxiety and stress levels.)

In the end, you may still hate it. You might give up and call it a day, and not think about it for months. That’s fine – as long as your self-esteem is high, and your mental health is good, you’re living a healthy life. But remember, just a little bit of an attempt every day can boost your health by a lot; you just have to make the effort. Happy exercising!