Most people only consider physical activity as a means to stay fit and lose weight, but there are many more benefits to leading a physically active life. Being active releases endorphins – your “feel good” hormones – which naturally boost your mood and give you that after workout glow. Being physically active can also help prevent disease.
Numerous tests and studies have been conducted to determine whether or not physical activity can help prevent disease, and the results have all been conclusive. Regular physical exercise can help prevent a number of different diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, amongst others.
Physical Activity And Cardiovascular Disease
Regular exercise helps prevent a number of heart problems, including stroke and heart disease. Remember that the heart is also a muscle, much like your biceps or hamstrings. Regular physical activity helps strengthen the heart muscle, making it more resilient to disease. This helps blood flow, enhances the working capacity of the muscle, lowers blood pressure and raises levels of good cholesterol.
Physical Activity And Hypertension
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. As mentioned above, regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure, which is instrumental in maintaining optimal health. Regular exercise can also lower the percentage of body fat, the presence of which also contributes to increased levels of hypertension. Being overweight puts the heart under more pressure to pump blood around the body. Losing some of this weight will reduce the workload, thus reduce blood pressure too.
Physical Activity And Diabetes
Regular physical activity is just as important for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. It helps maintain the body’s blood sugar levels by using glucose for energy when exercising. It also helps the flow of blood around the body and helps prevent arteriosclerosis (blocked arteries), which can be quite common in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Physical Activity And Obesity
Physical activity can help people struggling with obesity as it will aid in the weight-loss process. Regular physical activity will burn more calories than maintaining a sedentary way of life. Obesity can lead to a number of further complications if not taken seriously, but by following a nutrient-dense, calorie-controlled diet and by partaking in regular exercise, it can be overcome.
One should try and aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day, but at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This can be as simple as walking to work instead of catching the bus or taking up cycling as a hobby. Ideally you should also combine this type of physical activity with muscle strengthening exercises two days a week.