KT for Good: Get physical, get moving to stay in shape
In Part 6 of our Health Matters series, we tell you the importance of physical activity in keeping our bodies healthy.
There is no doubt that physical activity, after a healthy diet, is the single most important factor in keeping one healthy.
Dr Shyam Rajamohan, specialist in internal medicine at Prime Hospital, tells Khaleej Times how and why physical activity and exercise goes a long way in keeping a person healthy.
"There are a number of reasons why we should exercise," said Dr Shyam. "There are a number of advantages because exercising reduces your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
"It also reduces cholesterol, blood pressure and also decreases risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and even some cancers," said Dr Shyam.
He said exercising leads to stronger bones, muscles and joints and people who are physically active are at a lower risk of developing osteoporosis. "It also improves healing, people feel better, more energetic, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better," he said.
Exercise also reduces depression. "If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount," he advised.
As per UK and Australian guidelines, 150 to 300 minutes each week of moderate physical exertion or 75-150 minutes per week of intense physical exertion should be done over a period of five days a week.
"Do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week," he said, adding that it is a good idea to see a doctor before starting your physical activity programme.
Tips to stay fit
> Eat a high-protein breakfast. Eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day.
> Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices
> Drink water a half hour before meals
> Eat soluble fibre
> Drink coffee or tea to increase your metabolism
> Avoid processed foods
> Eat your food slowly
> Get a good night's sleep, every night
You should consult a doctor before starting exercise if:
> You are aged over 45 years
> Physical activity causes pain in your chest
> You often faint or have spells of severe dizziness
> Moderate physical activity makes you very breathless
> You are at a higher risk of heart disease eg diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia etc.
> You have pain in joints
> You are pregnant
Nothing in excess
> Reduce carbohydrates especially sugar and rice. Hunger levels go down which means you eat less calories and also you start burning from fat sources in your body.
> Reduces insulin levels - which reduces water and sodium retention - which means you reduce bloating and water weight.
> Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables.
> Reduce your risk of a heart attack
> Manage your weight better
> Have a lower blood cholesterol level
> Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
> Have lower blood pressure
> Have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis
> Lower your risk of falls
> Recover better from periods of hospitalisation or bed rest
> Feel better - with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.