We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life?
Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better and live better. Because, why not?
Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.
It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have lower risk of:
- coronary heart disease and stroke
- type 2 diabetes
- bowel cancer
- breast cancer in women
- early death
- hip fracture
- falls (among older adults)
It’s a natural mood lifter.
Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. You know that “feel good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.
It keeps you physically fit and able.
Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from stopping moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities.
It helps keep the doctor away.
Stand up when you eat your apple a day! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Being more active can help you:
- lower your blood pressure
- boost your levels of good cholesterol
- improve blood flow (circulation)
- keep your weight under control
- prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis
All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions and medications later in life!
It can help you live longer.
It’s true, 70 is the new 60… but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years! Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. So active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.
Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity:
- Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
- Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
- Helps you manage stress and tension.
- Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
- Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
- Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
- Helps you spend more time outdoors.