Chapter 33

Physical Fitness

It is amazing how much crisper the general
experience of life becomes when your body is given
a chance to develop a little strength.

Frank Duff

For good health you should develop a regular exercise program. If one is just starting out, you should build it up slowly.

Walking is the easiest form of aerobic exercise that can be done anywhere. Jogging, swimming, fast moving racquet sports like tennis, squash and badminton are excellent forms of exercise. 40 to 60 minutes of any aerobic exercise everyday is great for cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.

A note of caution: low impact aerobic exercises in which one’s feet use a wide base of support and one foot is always on the ground is better than high impact aerobic exercises in which both feet frequently leave the ground at the same time. High impact aerobic exercises can cause damage and pain to shin, knees and the lower back, unless one is an athlete or sportsperson with a high degree of fitness.

In addition to aerobic exercise, weight training for even 10-20 minutes just once or twice a week is recommended. Besides strengthening muscles and bones it also increases the metabolic rate thus burning more calories. Regular stretching exercises for about 10 minutes a day too is recommended, especially for the elderly.

You should have a variety in your exercise program in order to forestall boredom of the same ritual. You should make it enjoyable and do it at a convenient time to make it sustainable.

Walking is on of the best exercise for you if you have a very busy schedule then stretching exercises, spot running, deep breathing can be done in a short while of even 20 minutes at home or even in a hotel room while travelling. Many hotels, even the smaller hotels have health clubs and it is very much worth the effort to use this facility while travelling.

Exercise releases the feel good endorphin hormones like serotonin and increases longevity besides a host of other benefits. Hence you should exercise regularly.

Health is wealth.