There are several health benefits that come with regular physical activity. It helps reduce heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases and metabolic conditions. It is also highly beneficial for weight reduction and weight maintenance, and is likely to improve brain chemistry to help reduce depression.
On the other hand however, health monitors have come out to show that lack of physical activities significantly increases the risk of overweight, obesity and chronic diseases.
•The Health Benefits of Exercise
The following are the health benefits of Exercise
- Improves your chances of living longer.
- Improved quality of Life.
- Reduction in the risk of heart disease.
- Helps lower high blood pressure (Hypertension) and high cholesterol.
- Helps protect from developing cancer.
- Helps prevent or control type 2 diabetes (Adult-Onset Diabetes).
- Reduces the risk of arthritis and alleviates associated symptoms.
- Helps prevent osteoporosis (Gradual Loss of Bone Mass/Strength).
- Improves mobility and strength in later life.
- Alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Helps with weight reduction and weight management.
•Which Type of Exercise is the Healthiest?
Benefits vary according to the different types of exercise. Aerobic or cardio workouts primarily improve the cardiovascular system (heart, lungs). Weight-training or strength-training improves muscular strength and flexibility. Stretching exercises improve overall mobility and coordination of the body.
An increase in aerobic activity is absolutely good for you if you lead a largely inactive or sedentary life. It’s been shown that a brisk walk for like one to two hours a week (15 to 20 minutes a day) reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, developing diabetes, or premature death. Weight-bearing aerobic exercise can also strengthen joints, and improve bone strength.
•What is the Minimum Exercise Needed?
You can do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Sports Medicine. All 30 minutes can be done at once or broken down into 10- or 15-minute periods.
Moderate intensity exercise or physical activity is activity that causes a slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate. A sure way to gauge moderate activity is with the “talk test” – exercising hard enough to break a sweat but not so hard you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation.
Example of an ideal moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking. Brisk walk for the average person means walking 3-4 miles an hour, or about as fast as you’d walk if you were running late for an important event.