We often hear people talk about how to take charge and do more physical activity, but do we know exactly why?
Apart from answering that it’s good for your health, what are the more specific elements that lead us to believe that physical activity is good for people?
Let’s understand why physical activity is important for our health through this article.
What Do We Mean By “Physical Activity”?
When we talk about doing physical activity, we talk about performing an activity that brings certain intensity. This will be described using three levels of intensity: mild, medium or moderate and finally high, intense or vigorous. In simple terms, it can be said that a light intensity physical activity is generally one where the heart rate does not change or very little. Moderate-type physical activity, on the other hand, is accompanied by an increased heart rate demonstrated by mild breathlessness, while vigorous physical activity makes it difficult for you to speak because of your shortness of breath.
It is also important to note that it is your aerobic fitness that will determine the type of intensity to consider. For example, if you are a person with average aerobic fitness, brisk walking will be of moderate intensity and jogging will be a vigorous type. On the other hand, if your aerobic fitness is low, then a brisk walk will be a vigorous activity.
What Are The Benefits Of Doing Physical Activity?
The various research published on the subject are clear that to be healthy, an adult must be active and regularly exercise, regardless of age. Doing physical activity has many benefits that we can summarize here in a list:
- It helps maintain a healthy weight which improves your quality of life at the same time
- It strengthens your immune system
- It strengthens the heart and lungs
- It improves overall fitness (aerobic capacity, endurance and muscle strength, flexibility, balance, posture, etc.)
- It allows you to go about your daily activities by having more energy and without being tired
- It helps to lose weight if combined with proper nutrition
- It improves bone density and reduces the risk of fractures
- It improves your confidence, your mood and allows you to see life more positively
- It reduces the risk of falls among seniors and helps maintain their health and independence
- It improves sleep and digestion
- It increases your life expectancy
- It helps prevent or reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety
- It preserves cognitive functions and memory
It also reduces the risks associated with the following diseases:
- Breast, colon, lung, pancreas, etc.
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Decreases total cholesterol and increases good cholesterol (HDL)
- Premature death
- It has a protective effect related to aging among other things, with regard to the beginning of dementia.
7 Simple And Fun Ways to Exercise
The key to staying active is to have fun activities. Exercise is not just about gym training or pounding and there are different ways to integrate physical activity into your life without seeing it as a punishment. Here are some ideas to inspire you.
1. Join a Walking Club
Walking with others is a great way to get in shape.
Being part of a club allows you to socialize with other people and motivate you while forcing yourself to be present at a specific time and place.
Before joining a club, find out how far members usually go to find out if it suits your current fitness level.
You do not want to end up on a 32-kilometer hike while you’re expecting a half-hour walk to the park!
2. Find Your Child’s Heart
Children are a great excuse to exercise.
They do not stay inside if it rains, do not sit to nap and are not distracted and worried because of a deadline.
In addition, children also need to exercise instead of watching television and playing video games.
They make physical activity fun and their enthusiasm is contagious.
So go on a bike tour with your kids or grandchildren, play soccer in the park, walk in the dead leaves, wade in puddles, throw a football, do some kite flying, jump , play hide and seek, go to the beach. The possibilities are endless.
3. Get a Dog
If there are no children around you, have you thought about buying a dog?
Dogs do not accept excuses if you do not feel like going out for a walk. Studies show that dog owners are less stressed, exercise more, and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels than the general population.
What’s more, they tend to be in better overall health and suffer from fewer minor health problems.
4. Jump Rope to Keep Fit
Jumping rope is good for the heart, bones, flexibility and coordination.
10 minutes of jump rope burns between 70 and 110 calories.
5. Try Yoga
Yoga stimulates cardiovascular health, lung capacity, muscle strength and flexibility and is a very effective anti-stress.
A review of 62 studies from around the world showed that regular yoga can reduce many of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.
6. Sing at the Top of Your Head
The vocalizations exercise your heart and lungs, stimulate blood circulation, improve cardiovascular efficiency, increase oxygen uptake, increase alertness and provide excellent training for upper body muscles.
Singing is energizing and improves your self-esteem.
Singing can also reduce pain and promote recovery from a stroke or heart attack.
7. Tai Chi for Art and Exercise
This ancient Chinese technique is described as both an art form and a type of exercise.
It consists of a series of fluid and coordinated movements sometimes known as “moving meditation” and aims to harmonize body and mind by developing flexibility, strength, balance, posture and calmness.
Since the movements are so gentle, tai chi is suitable for almost everyone, even people recovering from injuries or frail elderly people.
This type of exercise has proven to be as effective as an aerobic workout for lowering blood pressure.