Key benefits of exercise for better physical wellness

by | May 2, 2023 | Medical Wellness

Do you find yourself sitting too much, and are somewhat concerned about the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle?

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Therefore, to achieve better levels of physical well-being, it does make sense to have an idea of how much time we are actually spending engaging in physical activities.

The long-term benefits of regular exercise on one’s health have been well-documented by medical researchers. The results of these studies show that physical activity appears to have a positive long-term influence on the selected diseases, namely, obesity, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition, having a regular exercise regime also helps in reducing the risk of several common cancers. In this article, we look at how exercising can help us achieve better physical wellness.

Benefits of exercise: better overall health

Incorporating a regular exercise regime allows us to receive numerous benefits, such as enhancing our mood, assisting in weight management by burning off excess calories, reducing the risk of disease, strengthening our bone and muscle system and providing better support for our everyday activities. It is important to note that even some physical activity is better than none, and more is better than some.

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Regular exercise helps your heart

A number of studies have also shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer a sudden heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac events. Engaging in regular physical activities also improves our heart’s ability to pump blood to our lungs and throughout our body, better facilitating the exchange of oxygen and waste products through a more efficient cardiovascular system. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.

Exercising maintains muscle strength for the long term

Growing old doesn’t mean one has to resign to being a couch potato. Well, in reality, perhaps this is a common phenomenon around the world, but given the right advice and guidance, older adults can be motivated to embark on a regular exercise regime to help sustain their bodies to better support their silver years. Exercising also helps to strengthen the muscles, thereby reducing the likelihood of falls.

According to an Oslo study of men in their 60s and 70s, those who routinely did 30 minutes of exercise six days a week had a 40 per cent lower risk of dying over a 12-year period, compared with men who were sedentary. Still, the researchers cautioned that this was an observational study, and there might be other factors that contributed to the increased life span in the participants.

However, if you are pregnant, or having certain forms of disability or have been diagnosed by a doctor and/or have signs and symptoms of cardiovascular, metabolic or kidney disease, then it is recommended to seek medical clearance before beginning an exercise program.

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