How Powerful is Physical Activity?
The benefits of physical activity are greater than you can imagine. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health has issued official guidelines. The guidelines released are called: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2019.
The main physical activity recommendations to improve your health are:
- Get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.
- You can achieve this by taking a daily walk of thirty minutes.
- Perform resistance training two or more days a week.
- You can meet this goal following a simple 3×5 workout plan.
If you implement these two simple guidelines, in addition to eating real food, you can improve your health.
Top Benefits of Physical Activity
If you have ever asked yourself:
- Why do we have to exercise regularly?
- How can exercise improve my health?
- Why is it important to work out?
- What are the health benefits of physical activity?
Here are some of the best answers:
1. Extend Your Lifespan
One of the secret benefits of physical activity is that you start moving. You don’t think that moving around is a big deal? Well, you are about to be shocked. Because sitting too much can shorten your lifespan.
Is that for real?
Yes! Stop sitting for long periods of time and you can extend your life. Get up and walk, run, play, do something! If you watch tv for an hour, then you have time to move for an hour.
So, get moving, at least for thirty minutes a day. Movement, even walking for 30 minutes a day is a key benefit of physical activity.
Come on, let’s go!
The Nurses’ Health Study found that sitting for extended periods of time promotes obesity and diabetes.
In fact, for every two hours spent watching television, there is a 23 percent higher risk of obesity.
It didn’t matter if the people in this study were avid exercisers or not.
The more they sat, the more likely they were to gain weight or develop diabetes.
Despite how much leisure-time activity and walking they did.
Long hours of sitting increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. Obsessive sitting means a shorter life span. The benefits of physical activity will improve your health and extend your lifespan.
Researchers speculate that prolonged sitting can change your metabolism in ways that promote chronic diseases.
Finally, even when you do exercise, this is not a license to sit extended periods of time.
The bottom line is, if you want to live longer, stop sitting and move more.
Extending your life is one of the most powerful benefits of physical activity.
So, get moving!
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2. Weight Loss
Another of the benefits of physical activity is losing weight.
Obesity is correlated with many adverse medical conditions.
- heart disease,
- high blood pressure,
- osteoarthritis and many more.
If you can knock off your obesity, you can help to prevent many health disasters.
Is that cake in the morning worth getting fatter?
Are those cookies really that good?
Are the ‘food’ companies that produce all those junk foods going to help you when your health declines?
They spend many millions marketing processed foods to you.
But, they will not be spending anything to help you when your body can no longer survive on their manufactured foods.
Physical activity helps you to lose weight by raising your metabolism and increasing your need for calories.
Bodyweight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, and squats without weights also help to build muscle.
Increased muscle mass will burn more calories as well as help change the shape of your body.
Even an increase in walking only will help you to lose weight.
However, if you want to create a fat-burning incinerator, then you must start strength training.
The more muscle you have, the less fat you will have.
Exercises like walking, running and biking will burn calories during exercise and up to a few hours after.
The afterburn of strength training can be up to 48 hours!
So, do not miss out on the great opportunity to keep burning fat, even while you are sleeping.
All you have to do is get down to a weight where you can start to weight lift or do bodyweight exercises.
Therefore, another of the key benefits of physical activity, especially strength training, is weight loss.
3. Prevent Back Pain
Excessive sitting is a source of back pain.
Lower-back pain is more than painful, it is debilitating.
Ask anyone who has chronic back pain.
And, back pain is the second most common source of misery after headaches.
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Then we sit in the car, train or bus for the morning commute.
Another eight to ten hours of sitting at the office.
More sitting for the commute home.
An additional hour or so of sitting at the dinner table and several more on the couch.
This lifestyle equals a lot of sitting during the day.
Aren’t you sick of sitting?
Start moving and you will enjoy another of the benefits of physical activity, less back pain.
Chris Maher, is a physical therapist turned health researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia.
He did extensive research on how to reduce lower-back pain.
He analyzed 21 studies done around the world, involving over 30,000 participants.
They found that preventing lower-back pain is one of the chief benefits of physical activity.
In fact, exercise reduced the risk of repeated lower-back pain between 25 and 40 percent.
It didn’t really matter what kind of exercise — core strengthening, aerobic exercise, or flexibility and stretching.
Chris’s review was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
One of the best exercises to prevent back pain is proper form deadlifting.
Of course, make sure that you continue to perfect your deadlift form.
4. Heart Disease Prevention
Walking two hours and thirty minutes a week can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Walking is a great investment in your health.
Is there an easier health investment than walking?
Walking and other physical activities will strengthen your heart muscle and lungs.
This improves your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body.
As a result, more blood flows to your muscles, and oxygen levels in your blood rise.
- Reduces levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your body.
- This protein is a sign of inflammation.
- High levels of CRP may suggest an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
- Physical activity may help you quit smoking.
- And, smoking is a major risk factor for CHD.
Source Credit: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/smo
5. Prevent High Blood Pressure
The benefits of physical activity just don’t stop.
Here is another, getting off the couch can help you prevent high blood pressure.
Lower your blood pressure and triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood.
Reducing the fat in your blood will make you and your body very happy.
This keeps your blood flowing smoothly and reduces the risk of sudden death.
We can all drink to that.
6. Improve Your Cholesterol Profile
Another of the benefits of physical activity is to raise your good cholesterol, known as HDL, high-density lipoprotein.
More of the right kind of physical activity is going to help you lose weight.
For every pound of weight loss, you can see a parallel rise in your HDL level.
HDL is the good cholesterol, the one that sweeps out cholesterol from your arteries back to your liver, to be excreted.
According to research from “Southern Medical Journal,” significant increases in HDL cholesterol are possible in as little as eight weeks with three workouts per week.
Weightlifting can also reduce your body fat percentage, which also promotes improved cholesterol levels.
7. Strengthen Your Bones
Your bones are alive.
Sounds scary, right?
Well, it is not nearly as scary as osteoarthritis.
Exercise will strengthen your bones.
The best exercises to improve your bone health are weight training based.
Deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and pushups are the best weight training exercises to strengthen your bones.
Stronger bones will help to prevent osteoporosis.
Do not wait until your doctor tells you that you have symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Start working out today.
You just have to get out there and start moving.
Walk 5 minutes, build up to 10 minutes and then 30 minutes.
Begin with bodyweight training like pushups and squats.
Once you feel comfortable with the basics, you can graduate to weight lifting.
8. Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Another of the benefits of physical activity is that exercise helps you to manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
This lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Exercise also helps to reverse insulin resistance of your muscles.
Once you start to move again, your muscles will be more receptive to insulin.
This will help you to manage your blood sugar levels, avoid, and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
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9. Boost Your Mood
Did you know that exercise is as effective as antidepressants?
The powerful benefits of physical activity will help you to fight depression.
You will discover that when you lift weights, you can lift your mood.
Physical activity increases endorphins which can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
Prozac never left me feeling as healthy as 30 minutes of deadlifting or a HIIT strength training circuit.
10. Improve Your Sleep
Everyone knows that there is a sleep crisis in America.
Close to 70 percent of Americans report that they struggle with insomnia.
According to the latest information, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, with increasing numbers relying on prescription sleep aids.
The CDC report, based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005 to 2010), found that nearly nine million Americans take prescription sleeping pills in pursuit of good night’s rest.
Source Credit: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/21/sleeping-pills.aspx
If you are affected by Insomnia, you can help yourself by working out.
People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.
A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.
The study, out in the December issue of the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity , lends more evidence to mounting research showing the importance and benefits of physical activity for a number of health factors.
All you need is 30 minutes a day to improve your sleep.
Benefits of Physical Activity – Final Thoughts
Just 30 minutes a day.
That is all the time that you need to improve your health.
The list above of the many benefits of physical activity is not exhaustive.
There are many other benefits that are not mentioned or not known yet.
Do yourself, your family and your friends a favor. Invest 3o minutes a day in your health.
- Start walking,
- Do squats, deadlifts, and pushups
Don’t wait till the doctor shocks with alarming news of faltering health.
Now is the time to begin.
Never give up!
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