Physical Activity for Good Health
The best reason to routinely include physical activity in your everyday life is that you genuinely want to improve your health and fitness. Most Americans are surprised at the amount of evidence that links regular physical activity to health improvement. Regular physical activity improves health in the following ways:
- REDUCES THE RISK OF PREMATURE DEATH
Low physical fitness = a shorter life span
- REDUCES THE RISK OF DYING PREMATURELY FROM HEART DISEASE
- Decreases blood triglyceride levels
- Decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-the "bad" cholesterol
- Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol-the "good" cholesterol
- REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING DISEASE
- One in four older adults is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (adult-onset, non-insulin-dependent diabetes)
- Studies show regular exercise enhances the body's ability to use insulin (a hormone that regulates the body's use of blood sugar)
- Prevents or delays the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
- HELPS BUILD AND MAINTAIN STRONG BONES, MUSCLES, AND JOINTS
- Osteoporosis, in which the bones become more fragile with time, occurs most commonly in older women, but is also found in men.
- Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking and jogging, helps to maintain bone density.
- PROMOTES PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING
- Enhances self-image and sense of well-being
- Improves quality of sleep, making one more resistant to fatigue
- Lessens depression, stress, and anxiety
- Improves outlook on life
- IMPROVES PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
- Tones muscles
- Helps control weight
- Helps control appetite
What is Physical Fitness?
The difference between physical activity and exercise is that physical activity is any voluntary body movement that burns calories. Exercise is physical activity that follows a planned format. The movements are repeated, with a goal of improving or maintaining one or more specific areas of physical fitness.
There are four components to physical fitness:
- Aerobic fitness involves endurance activities that ...
- Increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time.
- Involve the body's ability to take in and use oxygen to produce energy
- Use large muscle groups
- Include jogging, brisk walking, swimming and bicycling
- Build muscular strength and endurance
- Help preserve lean body mass
- Challenge muscles with resistance to make them stronger
- Bend joints and stretch muscles through a full range of motion
- Help to prevent strains and may help prevent falls in the elderly.
- Include Tai Chi, Yoga, bowling, and yard work
- Not based on how much you weigh but on how much of your weight is body fat.
- Excessive body fat can cause musculoskeletal problems and increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.