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Physical Activity Facts and Guidelines

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires more energy expenditure than that during leisure. It includes the various forms of exercise and sport, as well as the activities involving bodily movements, as in the case of playing, walking, domestic work and gardening.

The Exercise Program Consists Of Three Phases:

Phase 1: Fitness acquisition: It lasts for 4-6 weeks of gradual exercise, in terms of duration, repetition and intensity. It has observed, at this phase, that with the passage of time, the heart pulse goes lower at rest time and restoration time.

Phase 2: Fitness improvement: It lasts for 4-6 weeks, during which both the duration and intensity of exercise are increased with the aim of attaining a better fitness level.

Phase 3: Fitness maintaining: During this phase, the fitness level is sustained. It lasts for 6 months or more, during which the exercise is diversified with a view to creating excitement and drawing the practitioner's attention for as long as possible.

Little Exercise Better Than None:

Non-active people will have to embark on exercise, gradually, and with the passage of time, the duration, repetition and intensity shall be increased. Non-active adults, and those whose pathological condition does not allow to go beyond certain exercise limits, will enjoy numerous health benefits when doing more exercises.

However, pregnant women, as well as cardiac patients, will have to take the proper precautions and medical consultations prior to the attainment of the recommended fitness levels.

The Importance of Exercising:

The importance of regular exercising lies in three basic aspects:

First Aspect: improving several tracts of the body and enhancing their efficiency, starting with the hormonal and metabolic systems and ending with nervous and muscular systems.

Second Aspect: is related to preventing from some diseases and health problems, especially chronic ones, such as coronary heart disease, second type diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer such as colon and breast cancer. While the health problems which the physical activity contributes to are relieving depression, worry, and stress symptoms and improving psychological health. 

Third Aspect: increasing the energy exerted by the body, and hence, effectively contributing to preventing from obesity and putting paid to it. 

Benefits of Regular Exercise For the Young:

• Enhancing the efficiency level of heart and lungs.
• Increasing the stamina level of muscles and body elasticity.
• Building bone density.
• Reducing the level of blood fats.
• Lessening the risks of getting injured with cardiac diseases and
  increasing the cell sensitivity for insulin.
• Improving the psychological health for the young and promoting
    confidence.
• Relieving worry and depression symptoms.
• Helping the young grow in a socially healthy way.

Benefits of Regular Exercise For Adults:
• Raising the heart and lung efficiency.
• Enhancing the muscle fitness and joint resilience.
• Diminishing risks of getting injured with coronary heart artery
diseases.
• Lessening the proportion of fats in the body.
• Increasing the solubility of fibrin in blood, helping, in turn, in
hemophilia.
• Lessening the platelet sticking, reducing, in turn, the likelihood of
developing clot.
• Augmenting the sensitivity of the body cells for insulin, leading to
lowering blood sugar.
• Increasing bone density, in turn, rendering it less vulnerable for
break.
• Reducing worry, depression, and stress.
• Diminishing the likelihood of developing colon and breast cancer.

General Guidelines and Tips to be Adopted When Practicing a Physical Activity:

Avoidance of Injuries:

• When a practitioner starts a physical activity, he must start with a warm-up exercise for 5 minutes (simple activity), then end with a relaxation exercise. At the end of the physical activity, the practitioner must perform stretching exercises (muscle stretching).
• The practitioner must wear a proper sneaker, as the performance of jogging and running requires a certain kind of sneakers that alleviate shocks and reduce strain on the joints of the ankle and knee. The other games also, such as tennis and the like, have their own sneakers that prevent sliding.
• The exercises may cause stress on the joints and pain in the knee and ankle; therefore, the exercises must be performed in the proper way without straining the joints.
• The practitioner must start the physical activity with a warm-up exercise and end with a relaxation exercise. Also, the stretching exercises must not be neglected.
• In case of jogging and running, the runner is preferable to perform such activities on dusty terrains, not on asphalt or cement terrains as they cause strain of joints.

Consultation of a Physician Before Exercises:

• The recommendations, issued by the specialized medical associations, say that any person, under the age of 40 years who does not suffer from health disorders or risks causing coronary heart diseases, could perform the physical activity without the need of a medical examination.

Persons to Consult a Physician Before Exercises:

• Men aging over 45 years and women aging over 55 years.
• Patients suffering from the risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, smoking or diabetes.
• Patients suffering from the diseases of kidney, asthma, lung or liver.
• Persons having a family history, as if one of their parents or siblings was suffering from a heart disease before the age of 66 years. In this case, the person has to make a medical checkup, including an electrocardiogram while exercising.
• When performing a physical activity, the practitioner must stop the exercise immediately after feeling pain in the chest, or shoulders or when he feels short of breath, dizziness, nausea, or the like. Afterwards, he must consult the physician.
Matters to Be Avoided:
• The practitioner must not take a hot or steam bath immediately after the physical activity as the blood vessels start widening after any physical activity, and the hot or stream bath may increase such widening, which may cause low arterial blood pressure, especially when the practitioner loses much fluids during the physical activity.
The practitioner must regain the lost fluids before taking the stream bath.
• When inflammation occurs in the throat or chest or when the body temperature gets high as a result of influenza, for instance, it is advisable not to engage in any tough physical activity. After improvement of the health status, the practitioner can gradually resume the practice.