Think ‘exercise’ and images of Shahrukh Khan’s 6 pack abs and Kareena Kapoor of size zero flash in front of our eyes. Super-fit, super-toned bodies stare down at us from magazine covers and hoardings such that one could almost be forgiven for thinking that exercise only includes a bodybuilding and sculpting regimen.
But that is not completely true. Unless you are a Bollywood starlet working towards a bikini-ready body, you may not have the time or inclination for such strenuous exercises. So should we not exercise at all? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’. Research says that physical activity continuously done for 20-30 minutes, 3-5 times a week can give fantastic benefits. Four of such benefits are listed below:
- Look sexier: Even though burning off more calories than we consume leads to weight loss it is not wise to just depend on exercise for burning calories. A calorie controlled diet is very important for a substantial weight-loss. But when it is accompanied with physical exercise, the results are spectacular. A worked – out body looks toned and fit and you look slimmer even if you have not lost any weight. Another plus point is that you will look and feel sexier which can translate into exciting moments in the bedroom.
- Become stronger: Research has proved that regular physical activity, whether it is walking to the market or taking the staircase rather than the lift, can decrease levels of triglycerides and increase levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. It also helps in combating diseases like osteoporosis and diabetes. Regular exercise increases your immunity and you will suffer from fewer colds. Your energy levels increase and you are able to live a fuller life.
- Feel happier: Clinical data has revealed that incidence of Depression is on the rise in India today. Some of the symptoms of depression include listlessness, morbid thoughts about self and family and feelings of guilt and self-blame. Exercise or any type of physical exertion is known to raise serotonin levels high enough to significantly reduce depression in the patient. It raises your mood so that if you have been stressed about any problem, even a short burst of concentrated physical activity helps you to see the lighter side of that issue.
- Have fun: Who said that exercise had to be boring? Collect your friends on a Saturday morning and have fun kicking a football on the playground. Your kicks may present no threat to Messi’s position in his team but the fun you have may be unrivalled. Or take your kids to the park and play running catch with them. The fun will be doubled because of the quality time you spend with them.
Do remember to drink enough water for increased stamina before you begin exercising. Continue to take small sips of water during your regimen if you feel thirsty.
So, how do you remain fit? What is your fave exercise/physical activity?