The American Heart Association recommends at least 150-minutes of moderate activity each week. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session. This is achievable! Physical activity may also help encourage you to spend some time outdoors.
Here are some reasons why physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health.
Physical activity boosts mental wellness
Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may notice a “feel good sensation” immediately following your physical activity, and most people also note an improvement in general well-being over time as physical activity becomes a part of their routine.
Physical activity improves physical wellness
Reduced Risk Factors
Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had a 46% increased risk of death from any cause and an 80% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Becoming more active can help lower your blood pressure and also boost your levels of good cholesterol.
Physical activity prolongs your optimal health
Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about 7 years longer than those who are not active and are obese.
In addition to the health benefits listed above, moderate exercise, like brisk walking, can have other health benefits such as:
- Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
- Keeps weight under control
- Helps in the battle to quit smoking
- Improves blood cholesterol levels
- Prevents and manages high blood pressure
- Prevents bone loss
- Boosts energy level
- Helps manage stress
- Releases tension
- Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
- Counters anxiety and depression
- Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
- Improves self-image
- Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
- Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
- Reduces risk of developing CHD/CVD by 30-40 percent
- Reduced risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in those who are highly active
- Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc.) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life
- Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
So why not see for yourself? Once you find creative ways to fit physical activity into your life, we think you’ll agree that the effort to get moving is worth it!
Physical Activity and Calories
Refer to the following information that shows the approximate calories spent per hour by a 100-, 150- and 200- pound person doing a particular activity.
|Activity||100 lb||150 lb||200 lb|
|Bicycling, 6 mph||160||240||312|
|Bicycling, 12 mph||270||410||534|
|Running 5.5 mph||440||660||962|
|Running 10 mph||850||1,280||1,664|
|Swimming 25 yds/min||185||275||358|
|Swimming 50 yds/min||325||500||650|
|Walking 2 mph||160||240||312|
|Walking 3 mph||210||320||416|
|Walking 4.5 mph||295||440||572|