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The best ways to exercise

By: DR THOMAS KAISER

medicine@the-resident.com

Dr Thomas Kaiser is the Medical Director of the Vale do Lobo Medical Centre and is a specialist in good traditional General Practice for the whole family, state of the art aesthetic and cosmetic medicine.

Dear Reader,

We all know that exercise is great fun and very healthy.

Recent studies have demonstrated that exercise has far more benefits than previously thought.

Not only does it prevent heart disease, strokes and obesity, but it also has protective powers against cancers, depression, erectile dysfunction, dementia and diabetes.

It has also become clear that you do not need to become a tri-athlete or marathon runner to enjoy these benefits.

Rather the opposite is true.

Three to four sessions of moderate exercise per week seem to have the best effect.

Despite all that knowledge, exercise is much underused as preventive medicine.

I believe one reason is that people are not choosing a sport they really enjoy and many have forgotten how good they feel after a game of squash, a good swim or a run and how rewarding these sore muscles can feel.

Here a few tips about how you can make the most of sporting activities.

Choose an activity you really like and one that you can realistically carry out on a regular base. Skiing would be the wrong choice if you live in Faro.

Make sure this activity is compatible with you private and professional life. If the whole family can join in, you are much more likely to stick to it.

Make sure the sport is safe for you and go to your doctor for a pre-exercise medical.

Use an expert to help you learn if you are new to the field. That time and money is mostly well invested and also likely to help you enjoy yourself more.

Expect a bit of pain and frustration in the beginning and do not be put off by it. You will soon become conditioned and better skilled.

Establish clearly what you expect from the exercise you are about to take up. Is it fitness, fun, weight loss or an enrichment of your social life? You can choose better if you know exactly what you want.

Set yourself realistic little goals and develop a training plan accordingly. Achieving your desired aims is highly motivating. This is also an area where an experienced professional can be very helpful.

Consider participating in competitions. You can only really improve when you try out your newly acquired skills under a bit of pressure.

Competitions can also be great fun not to mention the envious looks your friends will give you when seeing your trophies in the cupboard.

Try joining a group for your training. That way it is more fun and you are also likely to suffer the positive effects of peer pressure.

Change you training regularly, every three to six months. If you always do the same, you will not improve and get bored.

Train all the components of a good physical condition. These are endurance, power, speed, flexibility and co-ordination.

The Algarve is really a paradise for every taste when it comes to sport and exercise.

We are also lucky that many very skilled instructors, trainers and professionals live and practice in the area.

Dancing is a super exercise form. You should do it more often.

Get inspired and see great local and international talent at Dançart, the annual contemporary and classic dance competition, held at the fantastic Teatro das Figuras in Faro this weekend (March 14 to 16).

Dear reader, the spring has almost arrived and with it all these exciting positive feelings. Let us make the most of it.

Best health wishes,

Dr Thomas Kaiser

For more information, please call Dr Kaiser on 289 398 009.

A unique opportunity

You could join Rosemary Conley, one of the UK’s best-known fitness and diet experts, and Dr Kaiser for a week of sport, health, pampering and fun in June.

They will run a special fitness and health week in Vale do Lobo from June 1 to 8.

Please call 289 398 009 for more information.