Is Physical Activity that important?
As much as I would like to tell you that sitting down and watching the Sunday match is better for your health than going for a brisk walk or cycle – I would be telling a lie. Though, I’m sure the heart rate would hit similar peaks when the ball crosses the bar! Long story short, the answer is yes – physical activity is really important for your health. But HOW good is it for us?
Here are 4 reasons why regular physical activity is important, and why you should keep on moving.
1. Reduces the risk of health conditions and diseases
Physical activity contributes to the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Often referred to as the ‘silent killers’, these conditions account for 70% of all deaths globally, which means that those who are inactive are at an increased risk of death by 20-30%.
*Checks step count. Proceeds to do 20 jumping jacks*
2. Exercise improves mood
Physical activity can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, therefore supporting positive mental health. Even just a 10-minute brisk walk can enhance our wellbeing, as the brain produces various chemicals to make us feel more relaxed and less anxious.
It can also boost our self-esteem and cognition. So, next time you’re feeling a little stressed out or struggling with the latest crossword puzzle – go for a quick loop around the garden. You might be surprised by how your mood lifts!
3. Maintains and controls weight
Physical activity can help reduce and prevent excess weight gain. When you take part in exercise, you burn off calories (the food you eat). The more intense exercise is, the more calories you burn off.
The wonderful thing about physical activity, is that you don’t need the gym or to run a marathon every day to see results. By making slight changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, or parking further away from the shops entrance – you too can reap the benefits of physical activity. It’s just about being consistent in your efforts.
4. Exercise can be fun and sociable
For some of us (me included), physical activity can seem like a chore, especially on the days when you just want to go home and watch Netflix. But if you give yourself the chance, you might find an activity that you thoroughly enjoy.
There are many hobbies and activities out there that don’t always involve running, lifting weights, or climbing a mountain. A simple walk on the beach with a friend or playing golf on the green can be fun ways to keep active, boosting your mood and enabling you to live a healthier and happier life.
Just remember; something is better than nothing, and no matter how slow you go, it all counts.
So, why not challenge yourself this #MensHealthWeek and find something new and exciting to try.
For more information on Physical Activity, click here
Why not check out Men on the Move, a dedicated physical activity programme aimed at men to get active, have fun and improve their fitness levels. For more information, click here.
World Health Organisation. (2021). Noncommunicable diseases. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/noncommunicable-diseases
World Health Organisation. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity