Researchers have known for a long time that maintaining physical fitness contributes to overall health and reduces the potential for developing serious health problems later in life. In a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that individuals who were active in midlife improved chronic health problems.
Being Active at Any Age
Staying active does not mean you have to work out for several hours every day or run a marathon every weekend. Instead it means being physically active in some way every day. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. This does not need to happen all at once. You can break it down into 10 minute walks and easily accomplish 15 walks across the week. In fact, if you think about it, you can probably get enough exercise across the day by parking a little farther out, taking the stairs a few times a week and doing your vacuuming.
Benefits of Physical Activity
There are numerous benefits to being physically active. According to the American Cancer Society, people who are physically active have better survival rates than those who do not exercise at all. Even for patients who become active while undergoing cancer treatment, the benefits include improved stamina, better response to treatment, improved flexibility and improved mood.
Being active can also improve cardiovascular performance, lower blood pressure and improve blood sugar levels. Increased metabolism helps with maintaining healthy weight levels and contributes to weight loss. Muscle strengthening exercises also helps build and improve bone density, particularly in postmenopausal women.
Physical activity is also good for improving mental health. People who are physically active tend to have fewer problems with depression and anxiety. They may feel more self confident and be more outgoing and enjoy social activities more.
Being active, even if it is only for a short walk, is also a great stress reducer. It can be a wonderful way to relieve tension and can actually improve sleep.
You don’t need to go run a marathon. Just get up off the sofa and go walk around the block, do some yoga stretches or play with your kids for a while. It will help your overall health and can actually improve your mood.
What do you guys do for a quick exercise or to stay active? Let us know in the comments below!
– The Alternative Daily