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Importance of Physical Activity for Good Health
Physical activity is one of the essential components of a healthy lifestyle. It revolves around any movement that requires the body’s energy expenditure, such as exercise, house chore, or leisurely walk. Physical activity has numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, maintaining a healthy body weight, and improving mental health.
Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some types of cancer. These are among the leading causes of death globally, and physical activity helps to mitigate them by reducing inflammation, improving heart function, and regulating blood sugar levels. According to research, inactive lifestyles have caused more than five million deaths annually. Engaging in physical activities such as running, cycling, or swimming, among others, reduces the occurrence of heart disease events by 30%.
Maintains a Healthy Body Weight
Physical activity is an excellent way of maintaining a healthy body weight. It works by burning excess calories stored in the body, which can contribute to weight gain. When combined with a healthy diet, physical activity can also help to shed excess weight. It is crucial to note that physical activity alone may not be enough to lose weight, but it plays a significant role in preventing weight gain and supporting weight maintenance.
Improves Mental Health
Physical activity has been found to improve mental health, reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. Physical activities such as running, swimming, and cycling help to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. Moreover, exercise promotes the production of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Exercise also promotes better sleep, which is crucial for mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Physical activity is essential for good health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, maintaining a healthy body weight, and improving mental health. Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day is recommended to realize these health benefits. It is crucial to note that physical activity should be complemented by a healthy diet and lifestyle habits such as getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.