Being active and exercising regularly are key factors in having a longer and healthy life. There are a huge amount of benefits which we are listed below. However, surprisingly it is not particularly good at helping us lose weight, probably because we often overestimate the amount of exercise we do.
Being physically active benefits your health for many conditions; such as heart and bone health, diabetes, and several cancers, as well as improving quality of life.
“People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active’
Reference: WHO Physical activity report
Studies have shown heart health is much improved by having an active job and an active commute to work, not just traditional exercise.
Lifting weights for less than an hour a week reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 70 per cent, independent of aerobic training as shown in this study. Weightlifting is good for your heart and does not take much weight to make a difference.
Those that are physically active are less likely to be depressed, anxious or stressed. When we are active it increases blood flow to the brain by up to 15%, releasing serotonin, the happy hormones, to the rest of the brain and gives us a high. If we also do this exercise outside you are getting the added benefit of vitamin D from sunshine which is also improves moos in some cases more than anti-depressants.
Any exercise increases blood flow to the brain which is essential for a healthy brain. Being active challenges our brain, the complexity of walking or running requires a lot of brain power to navigate the complex moves even more so if we are out in nature where we may encounter more uneven terrain.
The adjustments the brain needs to make to ensure we do not fall stimulate our hippocampus (critical to the brain), this explains why many studies have shown that people's memory can be enhanced by physical activity. Recently it has also been linked with a reduction in dementia risk.
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