The human body is designed for movement and has been used for this for thousands of years. But in our modern world – the world of automation and mechanisation – this has been forgotten. The minimum aim should be to cover at least 5,000 steps a day; ideally, however, everyone should walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around two million people die each year because of insufficient physical activity.
Lack of exercise can encourage “lifestyle diseases” such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, postural damage, osteoporosis and obesity.
This is why it is important to make sure that we get enough exercise. It improves our quality of life and prevents illness (heart attacks, osteoporosis, obesity, back pains, etc.).
Exercising sufficiently is an absolute miracle cure when it comes to preventive health care, and is good for body and mind alike. It gets the heart, muscles and organs of the body going. Physically active people not only look fresher, they can also cope with more in everyday life and feel better. Exercise helps the lipid metabolism to work more efficiently and lowers blood sugar levels. It also stimulates the immune system and produces more defensive cells.
Older people also benefit hugely from exercising a lot and from maintaining their muscle power over the years. Several studies have proved that, with the right exercises, older people can clearly increase their physical strength and improve their coordination skills.
But exercise is not only recommended for health reasons. No matter whether they are young or old, physically active people are more productive and have a more fulfilled life generally. Active people are clearly superior to passive people when it comes to strength, agility, stamina and coordination. Studies have also shown that they are more resistant to stress and have less tendency to depressive moods.
The latest studies actually show that physical activity has an effect on our intellectual capabilities. Brain functions and age-related degenerative phenomena can be positively influenced by exercise.
Everyday exercise tips
Here are a few tips for exercising in everyday life:
- Treat yourself to a little stroll after your evening meal!
- Take the stairs instead of using the lift or escalator!
- Walk short distances!
- Swap the car for a bicycle whenever possible!
- Do some gardening!
- Stand up when you telephone!
- Hold meetings at standing desks!
Step by step – every step counts!
The easiest way of measuring your physical activity is to count the number of steps you walk with a step counter, or pedometer.
A pedometer is thus ideal for expressing your daily quota of exercise quite simply in figures. Just fix it to your belt or waistband first thing in the morning. The pedometer has a vibration sensor, so it counts every step as you walk or run.