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Vol. XXVI, 1st Quarter
January–March 2008

Excercise this!

joggingGood habits benefit life and body. Healthy lifestyle and maintaining well-nourished body are desirable habits. This can be achieved in part through balanced diet and exercise.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos developed by the technical working group led by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, recommend regular exercise and good nutrition for healthy living.

Here are frequently asked questions on exercise and its benefits to one’s body.

How much exercise do I need?
A doctor can determine how much exercise is right for you. Exercising four to six times a week for 30 to 60 minutes each session is alright. The doctor’s advice is especially important if you haven’t been active, with health issue, or if pregnant or elderly.

A good start is to perform 10-minute light exercise or brisk walk everyday and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the exercise.

How do I stick with it?
Here are useful reminders to help you start and stick to an exercise program:

What is the best exercise?
The best exercise is the one that fits your choice of activity. Walking is considered one of the best exercises because it’s easy, safe, and cheap. Brisk walking can burn as many calories as running, but is less likely to cause injuries. It doesn’t require training or special equipment, except for a good pair of shoes. Walking is an aerobic and weight-bearing exercise, so it is good for your heart and helps prevent osteoporosis.

Benefits of a regular exercise
Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity. It keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible so that it’s easier to move around. It also reduces some of the effects of aging, contributes to mental well-being, alleviates depression, helps relieve stress and anxiety, increases energy and endurance, helps people sleep better, and increases metabolism.

Sneak exercise into your day
For the very busy, exercise options include taking the stairs instead of elevator, a walk during coffee or lunch breaks, or walking all or part of the way to work.