There are few things that have as much impact on our health and wellbeing as physical activity. It can help us feel and look better, reduce our risk of certain diseases, increase energy levels and even improve brain health.
But you don’t have to join a gym or turn into a workout fanatic to get the benefits. A regular amount of moderate-intensity exercise (like brisk walking, cycling and swimming) is good for almost everyone. In fact, most people can’t achieve the recommended 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, but getting even small amounts of physical activity is better than none at all.
The main health benefits of exercise include a healthier heart and lungs, stronger muscles, increased flexibility and lower blood pressure. It also helps you control your weight and blood sugar and can even lower your risk of cancer. Regular exercise can also boost your mood, relieve depression, stress and anxiety, improve sleep and aid digestion.
Several studies have shown that moderate to vigorous exercise can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as some cancers. It can also lower your chances of having a stroke, bowel cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer and breast cancer. In addition, it can reduce the development of mental disorders like depression and dementia, as well as help you manage your existing conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
In order to get the most health and fitness benefits from exercise, you should aim to be active on most, if not all, days of the week. The best types of activity are those that get your heart rate up and your breathing faster, known as aerobic activities. These can be as simple as brisk walking, swimming and cycling or playing some team sports like football or basketball. You can also find aerobic activity in a dance class or by doing balance exercises such as standing on one leg.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before you start exercising, especially if you have a medical condition or disability, such as arthritis. They can help you plan an exercise program that’s right for you. Then find an activity you enjoy and stick with it. This will make it easier to fit into your daily routine and reap the long-term benefits of exercise. Hälsa och träning