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Simple Steps to Being Active

Being active is very important and beneficial for your overall health. Physical activity helps to burn energy and to lose weight. It helps to prevent depression, reduces stress and ensuring a good night’s sleep. It can also improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Make exercise a very important part of your daily routine. It is recommended that one should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day or at least 30 minutes three to five times a week (walking, biking, swimming, yoga, etc ). You don’t have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be divided into three ten-minute spurt of activity spread throughout the day.

It will also help if you keep a healthy eating habit. Cut the carbs – reduce all processed and refined carbs (table sugar, juices, desserts, sweets, white rice, white bread, etc ). Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits.

Exercise does not mean having to go to the gym. It can be as simple as taking short brisk walks around your housing area or taking a 10 minute brisk walk during your lunch break and after dinner. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

Brisk walking should be faster than a stroll. Your heart should beat faster and you should break into a sweat. Do a regular walk with family or friends after dinner. Walk to the shops or part of your journey to work, walk the dog and organise group walks. Try to make every step count.

Another simple form of exercise is to use the stairs whenever you can. Even if there’s an elevator or escalator, look for the stairs and use those. This will increase your heart rate and help to burn off the calories.

When people go shopping, they would rather waste fuel and roam around the car park until they find a spot very near to the entrance. Try to park far away and take brisk walk to and from your shopping outlet. This will certainly make your heart beat faster and help you to lose weight.

As you can see, it’s really quite easy to add small amounts of exercise into your daily life. Don’t make it such a big occasion. Instead, focus on getting your heart rate up several times throughout the day.

Exercise should be fun and enjoyable. If you don’t look forward to doing your exercise you will never enjoy it. If you do something that you really enjoy, you are more likely to stick at it and lose more weight and be generally healthier.


Kee Poh Siew

(Diabetes Councillor)

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