Exercise & Fitness

How can exercise & fitness nourish your soul?

Fitness exercises have always been a widely practised method of staying in shape. MedScape defines it as any bodily movement advised for the purpose of correcting an impairment, improving function, or maintaining the present state of well-being. The benefits of exercise, however, go beyond the physical; it is also quite beneficial for those suffering from mental and psychological issues as well.

According to the NHS, exercise reduces one’s risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer by up to 50%. It is also known to lower the risk of early death by up to 30%. Moreover, physical activity boosts self-esteem and energy, among other things, and helps manage depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

HelpGuide.org say that people who exercise regularly “feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.”

This is due to the rush of endorphins that the body produces during physical activity. Whether you’re going to the gym or doing a home workout, exercise and fitness contributes a lot in nourishing the mind, body, and soul.

Benefits of exercise & fitness

Exercise is known to have a wide variety of physical benefits. It helps you control your weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s also very helpful in managing your insulin and blood sugar levels, strengthening your muscles and bones, and improving the quality of your sleep. Last but definitely not the least, studies have also found exercise to improve your sexual drive.

Research has shown that regularly engaging in fitness exercises can help you quit bad habits such as smoking. Through exercise, you are able to maintain a healthy mental and emotional state. It is also significant in keeping your thinking, learning, and judgement skills sharp as you age.

You don’t have to go for an extreme workout to enjoy these benefits, too. According to the World Health Organisation, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week is enough to keep you in good condition. To boost the health benefits, you can stretch that to 300 minutes, or 5 hours of aerobic physical activity a week.

What to expect from an exercise & fitness session

Aerobic exercises are activities that increase your heart rate and make you breathe harder. Strength exercises - such as a bodyweight workout - focus on building and toning your muscles. Balance exercises improve your ability to control your body. Flexibility exercises, meanwhile, stretch your muscles.

First, you’ll be weighed and evaluated by your trainer. Here, you can set realistic goals as to what you want to achieve with your exercise program. You’ll then start out with some stretching exercises to help your muscles warm up. After that, expect to proceed with a bit of cardio to further warm up, after which you can proceed to exercises involving weight training.

Note that this is the basic program that most trainers provide, and you may encounter something different with your trainer depending on your needs. A session may last anywhere from just an hour to a couple of hours, again, depending on what is recommended for you.