Physical activity and exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.
Some people use activity and exercise interchangeably. So what’s the difference?
Physical activity is movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires energy. In other words, any movement you do is actually physical activity.
Exercise, however, is planned, structured, repetitive and intentional movement intended to improve or maintain physical fitness. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity.
A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.
Benefits of regular physical activity
- If you are regularly physically active, you may:
- reduce your risk of a heart attack
- manage your weight better
- have a lower blood cholesterol level
- lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- have lower blood pressure
- have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis
- lower your risk of falls
- recover better from periods of hospitalisation or bed rest
- feel better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better
- A healthier state of mind
Exercise and Depression
A number of studies have found that activity and exercise helps with depression through some of the methods below:
- Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract you from daily worries.
- Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact.
- Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve your sleep patterns.
- Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones.
Aim for at Least 30 minutes a Day
To maintain health and reduce your risk of health problems, aim for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Moderate-intensity physical activity and exercise is good on most days. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day as we all have lapses.
Just begin afresh tomorrow. There is always a tomorrow and a new beginning.
Physical Activity and Exercise Guidelines
Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines state that:
Doing any physical activity and exercise is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, just start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
Not only does activity and exercise help build vital muscle but it releases endorphins, known as happy cells and makes you feel much better.
An easy way to start transforming a sedentary lifestyle into a more active one is to begin standing more and sitting less. If you work at a desk all day, create a workstation that requires you to stand (and therefore move more). Think about creating opportunities to walk at lunchtime and before or after work.
Consider adding leisure time activities to your weekly routines, especially those that involve the whole family, such as bike rides, hikes and walks around the neighbourhood. What about your home? Do you enjoy gardening? Make time for it throughout the week instead of leaving it all to the weekend. There are many opportunities to increase your activity and exercise into a healthy lifestyle.
Below is an example of recommended exercises for a happy and healthy body.
Activity and Exercise – It’s Not A Fad but A Lifestyle
Together with a nourishing and filling eating plan that can benefit your health, activity and exercise is with you for life. It’s not just a fad but a lifestyle.
Find out more about an exercise routine or dietary management to help you on your way to a fitter and healthier new version of you by contacting us below.
Gayle Maree is Life Engineer, Counselor, Mother, Entrepreneur and Eternal Optimist.
She runs Stewart Natural Health with her husband and Natural Therapist Allan Herring and has over 20 years of Personal Development Coaching behind her.
Gayle is Director and creator of 6 Dimensions of Healing, and designs emotional bridges for people to build to get themselves from where they are now to where they want to be. Her book 6 Dimensions of Healing – Handbook is available now.