The Importance of Physical Activity

September 12th, 2018

Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active has been shown to have a plethora of benefits – both physical and emotional. Additionally, it has both short- and long-term health benefits. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of regular exercise:

1. Reduces Your Risk of Chronic Disease

Getting regular exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Physical activity reduces intra-abdominal fat, a hidden risk factor for many chronic diseases. It also improves your insulin sensitivity cutting down your risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

2. Improves Mood

Exercise stimulates the release of serotonin and norepinephrine, which improve your mood and decrease feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. Additionally, physical activity can increase the production of endorphins – chemicals that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body

3. Helps You Maintain A Healthy Weight

Exercise does not only help you lose weight but also help you maintain a healthy body weight. Regular exercise increases your metabolic rate, which burns calories and helps you stay in shape.

4. Increases Energy Levels

This may seem counter-intuitive – since working out can drain your energy quite a bit. However, exercise increases blood flow and delivery of nutrients to your tissues increasing energy production.

5. Improves Brain Function

Exercise increases heart rate which promotes the flow of blood to the brain. It also stimulates the production of hormones that can promote the growth and development of new brain cells. This helps to improve cognitive function as well as reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Sedentary Lifestyles

The Department of Health describes inactivity as a “silent killer.” People leading a sedentary lifestyle should, therefore, consider raising their activity levels or reduce the amount of time they spend sitting down. Common examples of sedentary behaviours include using the car for short trips, watching TV, using a computer, playing video and online games such as poker, and sitting down to read, talk or listen to music.

What Counts?

To stay healthy, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.