In my previous blog, I explained the difference between health and fitness. This blog will detail the importance of physical activities and the role it plays in maintaining a good lifestyle.
As per ACSM (American College of Sports and Medicine) guidelines, a person must be involved in some sort of physical activity at least 3 days a week. The benefits of physical activities are divided into three categories i.e. Physical, Mental and Social benefits.
1. Physical Benefits of Exercising
- Keep Away From Hypokinetic Medical Conditions
This is one of the major benefits for a person who is involved in physical activities. Hypokinetic Condition arises from the complications of leading a sedentary lifestyle. This condition includes Cardiovascular Diseases, Obesity, Lower Back Pain Syndrome, Type II Diabetes, Hypertension, etc.
- Increases Basal Metabolic Rate
If you are regularly involved in some kind of a physical activity, it increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR refers to the minimum amount of energy in the form of calories that our body requires to complete its normal functions such as breathing, breaking down foods, heart and brain functioning
- Joint Mobility & Flexibility
Regular physical activity improves your joint mobility and flexibility
- Boost the Immune System
Regular and frequent exercising helps boost the immune system. Exercises flush out bacteria from the system and lungs. This, in turn, helps us avoid the chances of catching a cold, flu, or other viral infections. Exercise temporarily increases the body temperature which in turn may prevent bacterial growth
- Improve Bone Density
Bone density refers to the amount of mineral matter per square centimeters of the bones. Physical activities improve bone density. If bone density improves, there is less chances of osteoporosis and fractures
- Better Body Composition
Body Composition is used to describe the percentage of fats, muscles, bones and the water in the body. If we say better body composition, it means more muscles and less fats, good bone weight and desired water level
- Anti-Aging Agent
Proper and regular physical activities targeting the basic components of fitness will result in a stronger heart, good bone density and increase in muscles. As a result, it will work as an anti-aging agent. As your body functions effectively well, your life expectancy increases
- Increases HDL Levels
Regular cardio exercises increase HDL levels. This is because cardio training helps supply oxygenated blood to the working muscle and that makes the heart stronger and helps in smooth blood flow
- Low Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke
Exercise helps strengthen the heart and the cardiovascular system. It improves blood circulation and lowers the risk of heart attack and strokes
2. Mental Benefits of Physical Activity
- Release Endorphins
It’s no surprise that physical activities help us improve our mood. This is primarily because of the release of chemicals known as endorphins. They not only create a feeling of happiness but sometimes, even euphoria
- It’s a Great Stress Buster!
Any physical activity is a great stress buster. It not only reduces physical stress but mental stress as well!
- Remedy for Insomnia
Regular involvement in an exercise is a medication alternative to improve sleep. It is a known remedy for chronic insomnia
- Improves Memory and Brain Power
Proper physical activities help sharpen memory and build the ability to learn new things. Being active everyday rapidly increases your brainpower!
- Exercise Boosts Confidence
Your body changes when you are active. Once you begin noticing the changes, you become more positive, productive and confident in yourself. It’s safe to say that exercise can boost your confidence!
- Control or Elimination of Bad Addictions or Habits
When we exercise regularly, our brain releases dopamine which is critically important in rewards and motivation. We experience happiness when Dopamine is released. Unfortunately, the same chemical is released while consuming alcohol, drugs, while having sex and also while eating junk food. It is easier to quit bad habits if you get your dopamine fix for the day while working out!
3. Social Benefits of Physical Activity
- Improves Social Relationships
A person who works out experiences good emotional health, is confident and this in turn improves his/her social relationships
- Develop New Contacts
Participating in sports or group fitness activities helps you meet new people. This opens an avenue of opportunities from friendships to business and you get to meet and surround yourself with like-minded individuals
- Increase Productivity and Efficiency
We have already established that being active helps your increase your brain function. It helps you stay alert and focused at work which results in efficiency and you’re naturally more productive! Physical activities help you think and act smartly!
- Reduce the Generation Gap
As an active participant in a fitness group, a sports activity or even if you’re prepping/participating in a marathon, you enter a world where you meet people from all walks of life. You will meet like-minded people from different backgrounds and different age groups. You will begin to realize that age really doesn’t matter when you’re fit!
The most important aspect of being physically active is that you save a lot of money on medications and in some cases even a surgery. Given all the benefits, isn’t it better to spend time and money on exercise? Don’t forget that being healthy and active is an investment in life itself!