Social Benefits of Physical Activity
Physical fitness is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. Low fitness in mid-life often predicts disability and early death in later life. Together these conditions are known as “chronic diseases”.
Physical inactivity also increases the risk for depression in adults while children who are moderately active have a greater ability to focus on tasks than those who are not involved in any physical activity due to genetic predisposition.
There are over 5 million deaths annually worldwide which are due to obesity. There is some evidence that physical activity may help in weight control, although the level of influence varies with age group.
140 people who were confined to a wheelchair or bed for at least three months showed improvement after twelve weeks of supervised exercise. Exercise helps maintain our bones in old age and especially women who are less active are more prone to developing osteoporosis.
Spending time caring for the garden without any physical activity could be very harmful to your heart because of high temperature and high humidity so it would be better if you do gardening while doing some exercise, running, or walking.
Emotional benefits of physical activity:
Mood and “well-being” benefits:
This is the most important category. The physical effect of exercise on brain chemistry and neuroplasticity is well documented. You know that feeling you get when you start exercising the one that makes you want to do it again tomorrow? That’s not just a coincidence. Exercise boosts neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine as well as endorphins, which all contribute to our sense of happiness or well-being.
Exercise beats anti-depressants and reduces your level of cortisol (the stress hormone). It also stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin in your body which can help with depression.
You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the mental health benefits of exercise. Researchers suggest that even moderate aerobic activity, like walking 30 minutes a day five days a week, has an anti-stress effect on the body and brain. This is probably related to the calming effects of endorphins or other neurotransmitters released during physical activity.
Exercise may be able to reverse age-related cognitive decline. Even seniors who are in relatively good shape can improve their memory by getting regular cardiovascular exercise by doing activities like walking, swimming, jogging, etc. Exercise boosts blood flow throughout your body. And because your brain gets more oxygenated blood than any other organ in your body, it’s the first thing to receive more of this life-giving fluid when you begin exercising.
Exercise is a great way to enhance your image and feel more attractive. Exercise can boost your mood, make you look better, increase your energy, help you sleep better, and reduce stress all at once.
Increased strength and body control:
You don’t need a gym membership or equipment to get started with strengthening exercise regularly. You might not be able to do one push-up today but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do 10 next week if you stick with it! In addition, exercises like planks strengthen both your core muscles as well as the smaller stabilizer muscles in your shoulders and hips that can help prevent injury.
Improve sexual health:
Regular physical activity may even improve a man’s erectile function, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers found men who had active sex lives, as well as healthy weights, were less likely to have problems getting or maintaining an erection than those with other risk factors like smoking or high blood pressure. In women, exercise has been shown to increase libido and make it easier for you to become aroused.
Boost your mood:
It’s also worth noting that aerobic exercise plays a role in increasing levels of endorphins which are known to relieve pain and enhance the ability to withstand stress. As a result, many people use regular aerobic exercise as a way to treat mild depression or alleviate some of the symptoms of stress, particularly fatigue.
Promotes healthy weight:
Find an exercise you love and it can become a lifelong habit, which will make it much easier to maintain a healthy weight. Not only does an extra layer of fat around your midsection increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer — to name a few — but it’s also incredibly difficult to get rid of that excess weight once you’ve got it.
Exercise is a great insomnia treatment and can help you to fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Plus, the stress-relieving effects of exercise may make it easier to clear your mind before bedtime.
Regular physical activity helps protect against heart disease by helping maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight as well as reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol. Exercise also protects against stroke — even more so for women — and helps reduce osteoporosis risk in older adults.
Feel better about yourself:
As we mentioned above, there’s nothing like that post-workout high, which can leave you feeling happier than ever after a particularly grueling workout session. Add that positive feeling to the other health benefits of exercise and it’s no surprise that people who work out regularly tend to have a more positive outlook on life.
Flexibility comes from strength, and strength training can help you improve your range of motion. With regular strength training, you’ll notice an improvement in shoulder mobility (how far you can raise your arms forward without raising them above your head), flexibility in your hips (which will help with squats and other lower-body exercises), and increased hamstring flexibility (a major factor in preventing injuries).
Enjoy better sleep:
Regular physical activity improves sleep quality by giving your body time to wind down at the end of the day — making it easier for you to slip into a peaceful slumber. Exercise also helps increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep, which is when your body repairs itself and grows new cells.
Balance your hormones:
Exercise can boost “feel-good” hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, making it a natural anti-depressant. It may also help decrease levels of stress hormones like cortisol that can wreak havoc on your mental health and cause conditions like depression. Men who exercise regularly have been shown to have higher testosterone levels naturally than those who don’t — a positive correlation that demonstrates a clear link between physical activity and hormone health throughout the body.
Increase your energy:
Healthy eating and regular exercise can increase your body’s daily energy expenditure by as much as 500 calories, helping you to shed extra pounds and even improving focus throughout the day.
Regular strength training combined with aerobic workouts will improve your strength, endurance, and coordination — all factors that play a role in preventing falls. Plus, those who experience age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) can lose as much as 40% of their muscle mass between the ages of 25 and 75 — making it more difficult to maintain balance.
Improve your sex life:
Exercise can improve blood flow to the genitals, which will enhance arousal and may make it easier to achieve orgasm. Plus, it also helps relieve stress and tension — two factors that can affect performance in the bedroom.
One study found that regular aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus (a region in the brain involved in memory formation), which plays a role in improved learning ability and overall cognitive function.
The physical effects of exercise on your appearance go beyond basic health benefits like increased energy levels and improved heart health; exercise even has tangible cosmetic benefits! For example, up to 100 minutes of cardio per week can result in shinier, healthier hair.
Burn more calories:
Any form of regular exercise can decrease your resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy expended at rest), meaning that you need fewer calories throughout the day to maintain your weight. This is because lean muscle mass requires more energy to sustain itself than fat tissue does.
Build stronger bones:
One study found that women with low bone density had decreased leg strength after 12 weeks on a 20-week resistance training program, demonstrating the effect that exercise has on bone formation and density.
Prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s & dementia:
A recent Finnish study found that seniors who engage in aerobic or strength training activities three times per week for just one hour have an almost 50% lower risk of dementia than those who don’t exercise.
Improve your mental health:
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to treat clinical depression and has also been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).