Lifestyle

Why Regular Physical Activity is Important

Being physically active provides so many health benefits, not only physically but emotionally and mentally. Don’t deny the advantages of exercising by staying on your couch all day. Get yourself moving! Here are 4 top reasons why you should keep to you should get active today.

WEIGHT MAINTENANCE

Regular physical activity helps with weight maintenance and weight loss. It is essential that we maintain a healthy weight in order to lower the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. This BMI Healthy calculator will show whether you are a healthy weight and provides practical information on how to lose weight if necessary.

PROTECTS YOUR HEART

Regular physical activity has cardiovascular health benefits, as I just mentioned, being physically active can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. By being active everyday you are minimising cardiovascular risk factors by reducing and maintaining a healthy body weight, lowering levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol, increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels and insulin sensitivity. The British Heart Foundation provides practical tips on how individuals can be more active. So whether your workout consist of taking a 30 minute walk around your local park, swimming or taking part in a Zumba class, make sure that you keep at it! Keep fit, keep your heart healthy.

GIVES YOUR SELF-ESTEEM THAT EXTRA BOOST

Feel good on the inside, look good on the outside. Being physically active can boost your self-esteem. Whether, you’re a child or an older adult – doing some form of activity can elevate your self-confidence. Having said this, in a Canadian study, researchers showed that children who were more physically active had considerably higher levels of self-esteem. In another study, researchers investigated the effect of lifestyle physical activity intervention on physical self-perception and self-esteem in older adults. They found that individuals who were involved in the intervention had significant improvements in their personal growth and physical self-worth.

BECOME MORE ALERT AND ATTENTIVE

When I work out daily, I find myself being more alert and attentive! So, it is no surprise that studies have found exercising to provide some great cognitive benefits!! Working out daily enables us to become more focused, helps clear your mind and allows you to think better. A clinical trial run by the Body-Brain Performance Institute in association with Swinburne’s University and Brain Sciences Institute, showed a clear link between physical fitness, brain function and reduced stress levels at work. In addition, they showed that employees who attended the gym as well as completing 10,000 steps showed significant increases in alertness and energy levels.

There are of course many other reasons why physical activity is vital and should be incorporated daily in our lives. It is recommended that adults between 19-64 years should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and
  • strength exercises such as push ups, sit ups and even gardening (shoving and digging) on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

 

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