What feels better: watching TV for an hour or swimming laps? I have to admit, the latter sounds exhausting and I sometimes have to push myself to go all the way to the pool after a long day. But afterwards, my body thanks me. Then, strangely enough, I actually feel fitter!
Benefits of exercise
I started looking into the benefits of exercise. For instance, did you know that during the day you come into contact with more toxins than you think? I am talking about exhaust emissions, meat, fish and dairy containing antibiotics, fruit and vegetables containing pesticides, chemical e-numbers, medicines or detergents. Our liver helps to detoxify, but excess toxins are stored in fat. And when toxins are accumulated in your body, you can suffer from fatigue, obesity, food addictions, infertility and menstrual problems and immune system problems. And let’s face it, exercise is one of the most powerful ways to detox (detoxify)!
But exercise has even more benefits:
Improve blood circulation
Blood circulation is one of the most important functions in the body. It provides oxygen to the brain and other organs. Your blood vessels dilate when you exercise properly. Just 30 minutes of exercise can help improve your blood circulation. This also improves blood flow to your brain, allowing it to work better.
Sport and exercise help reduce stress symptoms. Exercise releases substances that help the brain inhibit the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, exercise helps you relax for a while and clear your head. You can also take a moment to attune to your body. Is everything still going well? After all, your body gives off signals in the form of fatigue, stiffness or pain. If you want to stay healthy, it is important not to ignore these signals.
Strengthen your immune system
It has been shown that more active people are less at risk of infections. And when they do contract an infection, it takes a shorter time for them to be sick and the symptoms are milder. This is because exercise strengthens our immune cells. The immune system is our first and best line of defence against harmful viruses and bacteria. “Sport improves the circulation of important immune cells, reducing the risk of infections,” says David C. Nieman, PhD, of Public Health, affiliated with the American College of Sports Medicine. Our immune cells are like soldiers patrolling the body. If we sit like glued to a desk day in and day out, our fighting force will be less active. This can lead to our immune system not providing enough protection against bacteria and viruses, such as COVID19.
Exercise should be fun
Maybe you are already deterred by merely the thought of exercising. Or your weekly schedule is so full that it is almost impossible to plan a moment of exercise. Exercise should not put extra pressure on you. On the contrary, it should be a relief. Nor does it have to be complicated. Choose a form of exercise that suits you. Above all, exercise should be fun! Regular walks in nature, for example, can make a big difference.
Exercise at work too
If you work in an office, chances are you do not move much during the day. Prolonged sitting reduces your blood circulation and puts a static strain on the larger muscles, such as the back and neck and shoulder muscles. In addition, your hands make repetitive movements during typing and mousing, straining the same small muscles and tendons over and over again. It’s good to relax your muscles and tendons in between and to get regular exercise. Consider standing online meetings or walking while you’re on the phone. Ever thought of walking consultations? This actually makes a consultation more productive and creative!
Stay fit with the Fit coach
There are also several stretching exercises you can easily do during your working day. To help you, we have developed the Fit Coach in collaboration with physiotherapists. The Fit Coach offers various stretch exercises via a pop-up on your screen. You can personalise the Fit Coach by selecting the type of exercises. For example, you can choose from the following categories:
- Neck and shoulders
During the exercises, you will be coached with the help of a video, pictures and a simple description. The Fit coach contains more than 80 exercises. You can decide for yourself during which breaks you want to do the exercises and how many exercises you want to be offered per break.
That way, you keep moving during your working day!