Physical activity (PA) is associated with reduced risk for several disorders including coronary heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and stroke. Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may notice a “feel good sensation” immediately following your physical activity, and most people also note an improvement in general wellbeing over time as physical activity becomes a part of their routine. Some of the hormones responsible for these changes are endorphins, growth hormone and serotonin.
According to the AHA (American Heart Association), too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had a 46% increased risk of death from any cause and an 80% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Becoming more active can help lower your blood pressure and also boost your levels of good cholesterol.
Regular Physical activity can improve the anti aging process by increasing strength, stamina and ability to function well. Recent research showed that people who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about 7 years longer than those who are not active and are obese.
If you want to improve your physical fitness, but you find the idea of exercise overwhelming, it may help you to know exercise and physical activity is not the same thing—yet both are beneficial to your health.
Exercise, however, is a type of physical activity that requires planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement with the intent of improving or maintaining your physical fitness level. Exercise can be accomplished through activities such as cycling, dancing, walking, swimming, yoga, working out at the gym, or running etc. Regular exercise, depending upon the kind, improves aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility.
Everyday physical activities such as performing housework, walking at work place, or climbing stairs keep your body moving and still count toward the recommended amount of weekly physical activity.
Regular exercises like brisk walking, cycling and swimming can have the following effects on our body…
Reduces risk of diabetes
Regular physical activity helps maintain blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 or if you have a family history of diabetes, this benefit of exercise may have special value to you.
Helps maintain weight
Physical activity has been shown to be the single most important factor in successful weight maintenance. Aim for burning about 1000-2000 calories per week from activity.
Reduces risk of premature death
The highest risk of death and disability is found among those who do no regular physical activity.
Reduces risk of heart disease
Physical activity increases the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol in your blood. HDLs are like cholesterol scavengers – they pick up the “bad” cholesterol in the arteries and transport it to the liver for eventual removal from the body. An increase in your HDL is protective; it can decrease the risk of a heart attack. The other ways by which physical activity protects the heart are controlling blood pressure, maintaining blood glucose, preventing obesity and keeping your stress levels at bay.
Improves health of muscles and bones
Regular aerobic physical activity improves blood flow to your muscles and helps them use energy. Strength training increases muscle size and strength. Physical activities like jogging, walking and strength training strengthen your bones and make them denser, thereby preventing osteoporosis and arthritis.
Improves mental health
Regular physical activity can reduce anxiety and depression and improve mood. It may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
Reduces risk of high blood pressure
Not only does regular physical activity reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure but it also helps lower blood pressure in people who already have elevated blood pressure.
Helps older adults become stronger
The loss of strength and stamina that is often attributed to aging is partly caused by reduced physical activity. Inadequate physical activity leads to a thinning of bones, a weakening of muscles, and a reduction in metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories). This often leads to weight gain. Physical activity improves nearly all systems, especially the cardiovascular system and the ability to perform the routine tasks of daily life.