What Is Exercise?

Both excessive and defective exercise destroys the strength, and similarly drink or food which is above or below a certain amount destroys the health, while that which is proportionate both produces and increases and preserves it.

- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1104a16

Podcast of the Day

Shari sets out to discover what's stopping her - and around 20 million other people in the UK - from doing regular exercise. According to the British Heart Foundation, 39% of adults - a third of the population - are just like her, doing no exercise at all. Both the figures and the public health messages are stark - physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, dementia and some cancers. Experts tell us that if current trends continue, half of the population will be classified as obese by 2050. In her quest to get fit for the New Year, Shari tries strength training, high-intensity interval training or HIIT, hot yoga and running for beginners. Along the way, she speaks to experts including Dr Charlie Foster, the Chair of the UK's Chief Medical Officers' Expert Committee for Physical Activity, and Professor Angela Clow, a psycho-physiologist at Westminster University.

Listen to Shari Vahl on Why Should I Exercise, Doctor?

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

With 2018 stretching out before us, shining with promise, many of us have made resolutions to be more active. As a researcher of exercise and health, I spend most of my waking time figuring out ways to help people become more active. I also apply that research on myself by regularly going swimming, for a bike ride or walking around my neighbourhood. My work addresses the main reasons people give for not exercising: That there’s “not enough time,” or there’s a lack of facilities or “it’s just easier to sit and watch TV.”

Recent media coverage of new research studies has added to this list of excuses, through headlines such as: “Excessive exercise may harm the heart.” Is this really the case? Could exercise be bad for your heart? Is there such a thing as too much exercise? Well, unless you’re participating in ultramarathons and running 160 kilometres, it’s unlikely you’re going to overdo it. Exercise is good for us, and always has been...

Continue reading Scott Lear's article: Exercise more in 2018 -- it really is good for your heart

Further Reading

Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, including increasing growth and development, preventing aging, strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, and also enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system and helps prevent certain "diseases of affluence" such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It may also help prevent stress and depression, increase quality of sleep and act as a non-pharmaceutical sleep aid to treat diseases such as insomnia, help promote or maintain positive self-esteem, improve mental health, maintain steady digestion and treat constipation and gas, regulate fertility health, and augment an individual's sex appeal or body image...

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Physical Exercise

Bonus Webcomic

Exercise - xkcd

Related Topics

If you’re interested in exercise, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 Ageing | Genetics | The Human Body | Nutrition

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