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Feature: Misconceptions And Benefits Of Physical Exercise   
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Physical exercise is any activity that works the muscles in various ways to keep one fit. This makes the individual strong and flexible.
Exercises have numerous benefits to the body, but unfortunately society has managed to misconstrue and limit it as only an act of losing weight or belly fat.

However, physical exercise achieves much more than this. My motivation for writing this article emanated from the discouraging and cynical feedback I received from friends and family when they got to know I was going to the gym to get into a regular exercise. Considering me as a slim person, most people were appalled, genuinely surprised, sarcastic and teased when they got to know I was exercising regularly.

Their responses ranged from "What for!", "what fat are you burning!", "but you are not fat!" to "but you're so tiny and skinny!" As much as some of these comments were dispiriting, I know their motive was not to insult me but a show of ignorance and limited knowledge about physical exercises. Most people know they should exercise, but only a few actually do, due to misconceptions about who needs to physically exercise the body.

Some exercise misconceptions are that - exercises are for those who want or need to lose weight and thus one should qualify as obese before exercising; exercises are for losing belly fat since big bellies are losing their attractiveness; exercise are for athletes or sport people and is a medical recommendation for those who are at some health risk.

Exercise is basically any activity that keeps you physically active, such as walking, dancing, sweeping, raking, jogging, skipping, swimming, climbing stairs, etc. Jogging for instance is an all-star calories crusher, mood enhancer and disease fighter. Physical exercises in general help one to feel better physically and mentally.

It helps lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol in the body. It reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. It strengthens the heart muscles and keeps the joints flexible. All exercises add to make one healthier whether casually or on a structured routine basis. Exercises are not limited to the gyms, though gyms offer different ways of exercising the body as well as provide equipments that aid in specific muscle toning or shaping.

Over the past few years, lifestyle diseases have increased at an alarming rate. The introduction of cars and other technology has made life easier but has also robbed us of many activities that kept us in shape. It is believed that our great grand-parents were healthier as compared to the present generation due to the rich nutrition in the foods they ate. However, 1 also think they were healthier due to the way their bodies were exercised with or without their consent through the long walks of miles to school and back.

Tilling farmlands and carrying farm produce to neighbouring villages to sell definitely contributed to their strong and resistant bodies. It may seem casual but the body gets physically exercised anyway.
Source: Shella Erskine-Frimpong/Daily Graphic

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