Body Exercise is a series of repeated activities, physical and physiological which could be aimed at: maintaining fitness and health, increasing the tensile strength of any tissue (increasing ability and productivity), reduction in body weight and recreation. Combined with good nutrition and rest, moderate-intensity exercise is an indispensable factor in any woman’s efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are various types of exercises because it comes in many different forms from the simple everyday exercise of just walking and running to more vigorous fitness routines such as press-ups and cycling. Many people think that for exercise to be beneficial to our health, it has to be the vigorous type; but research has shown that exercise done in a moderate form is actually more beneficial to our health. Depending on factors such as your age, state of health and fitness goals, you could choose which form of exercise to engage in. Even if you’re pregnant, you could still engage in some mild forms of exercise. An expert explains this further: “Exercise has important health benefits for everywoman, including those who are pregnant. Most pregnant women can establish an exercise routine that will help improve their health and reduce symptoms or complications associated with pregnancy, labour and delivery. In addition, a woman who maintains a high level of fitness during pregnancy is more likely to quickly return to her pre-pregnancy health, figure and weight after her baby is born. Exercise can help women ease many pregnancy-related complications, including gestational diabetes (a temporary form of diabetes related to pregnancy), bladder and bowel problems, backache, fatigue and varicose veins”. There are definite benefits of exercise, research has shown that exercise helps women generally in the following ways:
- Exercise helps women maintain a healthy weight. It helps a woman to burn excess calories and help prevent them from being stored as fat.
- It helps women build stronger muscles. While most women begin losing muscle strength as early as age 25, it has been established that strength training can slow down or even reverse this process.
- It helps to lower the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes.
- It helps to increase bone strength and density. This can help protect a woman from osteoporosis (a thinning of the bones that often occurs after menopause). Women who strengthen their bones at a younger age are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis later in life.
- It improves emotional health. Studies show that regular exercise can help women feel happier, less anxious and more relaxed.
However, there are warning signs because as important as exercise is, it can be counterproductive if done at the wrong time or in the wrong way. If you observe any of the following signs during or after exercise, it means something is wrong somewhere: dizziness, fainting attack, headache, chronic fatigue, gasping for breath, severe pain in the chest and joints, tremor, muscle cramps, excessive palpation, sleeplessness etc. it could be that you’re engaging in the wrong kind of exercise, or that you’re doing the exercise at the wrong time or in the wrong way. To avoid the risks associated with problematic exercise, the following guidelines will be of help:
- Choose the most appropriate type of exercise for you. Understand your personal limitations and exercise accordingly. Note that you’re not competing with anyone for a prize.
- Don’t exercise when you’re ill or feverish.
- Don’t engage in vigorous activities immediately after eating.
- Adjust exercise to the weather. Be careful especially of hot water.
- Aerobic exercise should always be started with a proper warm-up, before the main exercise.
- Wear proper clothing and shoes.