Why Be Physically Active?There has been a gradual increase in the understanding of the benefits of physical activity to a person’s health and well-being. It has been established that being active plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight and in increasing endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as in reducing the risk of disease. The benefits go beyond the individual level, providing savings to health services, something of particular importance as their costs continue to rise around the world.
Most adults and children don’t do enough physical activity to support a healthy life. Therefore, information should be provided on why physical activity is important, and people of all ages given guidance toward making exercise and sport a part of their lives. Life-long physical activity provides long term benefits for everyone, everywhere, and this is a message that must reach the wider public.
The Effects of Physical Activity on Health
Weight Management: In many countries, it has been concluded that a lack of physical activity is an underlying reason for obesity. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis and injury. Increased physical activity means weight management is easier and weight loss is more effective.
Management of High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of heart attack, heart and kidney failure, and stroke. However, routine physical activity helps keep blood pressure in balance. Moderate intensity exercise should be done regularly to achieve this.
Management of Blood Lipid Levels: Regular physical activity is known to have a positive effect on the metabolism of lipids, or fat, in the blood. Regular exercise increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, sometimes called “good” cholesterol, while decreasing total low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. In some cases, the result is a reduction in the HDL to LDL ratio and associated coronary health disease risks, as well as the minimization of high plasma triglyceride levels.
Blood Sugar Management: Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in preventing diabetes as it helps control insulin levels and regulate blood sugar. For this purpose, walking and low-strength long exercises are recommended.
Cardiovascular and Musculoskeletal Disease Prevention: Physically active people have a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Exercise is crucial to muscle and bone strength, joint flexibility, coordination, balance and agility. Particularly for women, when physical activity decreases with age and is accompanied by osteoporosis, the danger of fractures to bones such as the wrist, vertebra and hip increases considerably. Bone mineral density can be improved with exercises like weight lifting, walking and running during childhood and adolescence. Meanwhile, moderate physical activity in adulthood helps prevent age-related losses to density.
The notion that sport is for everyone must be spread to ensure a long, healthy and high quality of life for all.
The Effects of Physical Activity on Mental HealthThough hard to measure, studies agree on the psycho-social effects of exercise. Physical activity reduces anxiety, stress and depression, and helps to maintain good mental health and psychological well-being.
Workout addicts who exercise excessively and intensively may end up less healthy rather than more so, and this condition is commonly manifested alongside eating disorders. Exercising too much can cause injuries, exhaustion and psychological disorders.
A minimum of 30 minutes of activity every day is needed to conserve fitness. However, it is recommended that people with health problems consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
British Nutrition Foundation