Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

There are many reasons why physical activity is beneficial to the human body, but one that supersedes all in my eyes is the fact that we were designed to MOVE!  Without being physically active we were unable to survive and would not be here today.  Modern day age has brought about many advantages, but with it has come many disadvantages, and sadly at the cost of our health!  This is why many our lifestyle diseases are flourishing, because we no longer have to rely on being fit, healthy and physically active for survival.

The word physical activity can bring many nightmares into people’s lives, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t mean going to the gym or going for a run.  Activities such as dancing, playing with animals or children, gardening and cleaning the house are all forms of physical activity.  Physical activity doesn’t need to be dreaded, you just need to know more about it.  Below are some of the reasons why being physically active is important to us as humans:

Short term benefits
Short-Term Benefits of Regular Physical Activity:

  • A healthier, stronger heart
  • Increased endurance to cope better with every day activities
  • Healthy muscles, bones and joints
  • More energy
  • Better ability to cope with stress
  • A sense of well-being
  • Improved ability to fall asleep and sleep well
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, improves mood and promotes a sense of well-being

Long term benefits
Reduced risk of:

  • Dying prematurely
  • Dying from heart disease
  • Developing diabetes
  • Developing high blood pressure
  • Becoming obese
  • Developing colon cancer
  • Primary and secondary cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke)
  • Blood lipid abnormalities
  • Low self esteem
  • Back pain
  • Osteoporosis

Long-Term Benefits of Regular Physical Activity:

  • Better quality of life
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improved muscular strength
  • Improves the heart’s efficiently during exercise and at rest.
    • Helps psychologically
    • Healthier immune system
    • Improved burning of calories, a faster metabolism

How can I improve my physical fitness?
Programs designed to improve physical fitness take into account frequency (how often), intensity (how hard), and time (how long).
The FIT Formula:

F = frequency (days per week)
I = intensity (how hard, e.g., easy, moderate, vigorous) or percent of heart rate
T = time (amount for each session or day)

ACSM Recommendation For most healthy people:

For health benefits to the heart, lungs and circulation, perform any moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week at 60–85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

You can accumulate 30 minutes in 10 or 15 minute sessions. What’s important is to include physical activity as part of a regular routine.  Please remember, this is for most HEALTHY people to help prevent the onset of disease.  It does not prevent obesity or necessarily other lifestyle diseases such as osteoporosis.  Please contact us to find out what form of physical activity will best suit you and your body.

Article sponsored by Health International

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Article by Kristy Delport. Kristy is a Zimbabwe and South Africa registered Biokineticist. You can contact her using email or phone at  delportbiokinetics@gmail.com and 0775 463 191.

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