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Exercise for sound sleep and an ageless mind

Posted on 08 November, 2016 By Dr. Manvir Bhatia

#Obesity and lack of exercise and are major health issues all over the globe. In India too, exercises do not usually come up in daily routine for most people . Exercises can have a lot of benefits to help us lead a long healthy life – preventing and managing many chronic illnesses .

Advantages of Regular Exercis

Regular #exercise (and proper nutrition) can help reduce body fat as well as protect against chronic diseases associated with obesity like diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, stroke and certain cancers. You might be thinking exercise is only for losing weight, but the benefit actually goes far beyond weight loss, therefore, everybody is entitled to exercise.

In addition, exercises help in the following ways:

Exercise improves sleep
Exercising sometime during the day, at least 3 hours before bedtime gets you sleepy for bed at night, thus combating #insomnia. It helps you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.

Exercise improves OSA

Exercise of your body and some local exercises for your upper airway (myofunctional exercises) help in improving the disease condition.

Exercise improves your mood and memory
It helps you feel better about yourself and helps reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Releasing natural endorphins, you feel very relaxed and excited for more exercise. Exercise also helps you concentrate and reduce your forgetfulness,. Cathepsin B is a protein produced by muscles in response to exercise which is now being implicated in enhancement of memory by stimulating certain parts of the brain.

Exercise helps manage weight
Of Course ! You know it well. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy calorie restricted diet are ways in which you can combat obesity. New studies have brought exciting results discovering a type of good fat called the brown fat which increases with exercise and helps lose #weight.

Exercise can be a Joyous time

Going to the park and playing with children – pushing their swings , playing with them, teaching them yoga , etc can be enormous fun with exercise . Find an activity you enjoy, and have fun with it!

Beginning with an Exercise Program

For obese people, the focus of the exercise program should be based on
#low-intensity #aerobic activity with progressively increasing duration. Exercise can be walking, swimming or water exercises, cycling, dancing , rowing, etc

At the beginning of the program, the frequency and duration of the activity is more important than the intensity.

Aim for exercising four or five days a week for 30 to 60 minutes. If you were previously sedentary, these sessions can be broken up into three 10-minute sessions, with gradual increases in duration.

A moderate to low intensity exercise is where your exercise intensity level is well within your capacity to sustain for 45min and also be able to talk, but not sing during exercise.

In addition to aerobic activity, resistance or weight training can also provide some benefits to overall health. Not only does weight training make you stronger, it increases the amount of calories you burn at rest but this type of exercise requires more supervision .

Despite all your inclinations to monitor your weight, try to resist focusing on weight loss. The body has a tendency to gain muscle or lean weight initially, so although your body is benefiting from the exercise, the pounds might not drop off right away. Focus on the quality and quantity of the exercise instead.

Engage in activity that puts minimal stress on the joints, such as
#walking, #swimming , water exercises , #cycling, or rowing.

  • Ease into your workout. Start slowly for the first five minutes to give your body time to adjust to the activity.
  • Work at a comfortable pace that allows you to talk without too much difficulty.
  • Focus on increasing duration first, then increasing intensity.
  • Slow down for the last five minutes to allow your body to ease back into its resting state
  • Finish with stretching exercises.


  • Take permission from your cardiologist /sleep physician before beginning your exercise program.
  • It is important to gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercises, while understanding that you will have to build up to longer and more strenuous workouts.
  • Jogging can cause stress on the knees and joints and is generally not recommended for the obese because of risk for injury. Instead, stick to lower impact aerobic activities until you are in better shape.
  • Obese people should be especially careful about heat exhaustion given that they are less able to adapt to temperature changes. Wearing light clothing will allow for better heat exchange while exercising.
  • Hydration is very important for the obese, since they are susceptible to dehydration. Be sure to drink fluids frequently before, during, and after exercise.
  • Slow down or stop if you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, pain in the neck or jaw, or major muscle or joint pain.

Integrate physical activity into daily activity:

  • Take the stairs.
  • Park farther from the door.
  • Take a short walk at lunch. Take walk breaks from work.
  • Reduce your time spent on TV or laptop.

People don’t just have time to exercise…they MAKE time to exercise. Be in control of your life. Make exercise a part of your day, everyday!

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