14 WAYS EXERCISE MAKES YOU HEALTHIER
The world is facing one of the most severe health crises of modern times. With most of us forced to stay home and self-isolate in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, staying active has never been more important both for our physical and mental health.
Science continues to highlight the crucial relationship between health and exercise. And we’re not just talking about physical health in its traditional sense. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health isn’t just the absence of disease, but of complete state of physical, mental and social well-being.
The more we learn about the human body and mind, the more we realise how important being physically active is for all aspects of our health. Our bodies were designed to move, regularly and freely. Without movement, we not only have an increased risk of developing chronic diseases and mental health conditions, but we just feel worse. It’s not healthy. And yet only half of all Australian adults are getting enough exercise.
If you’re one of the almost 50% who finds themselves insufficiently active, the good news is it’s not too late to start. Research shows that even those who start exercising later in life can still reap the benefits.
SO HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS ENOUGH?
The WHO states that for health, you need to do the following as a weekly minimum:
- 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or
- 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity, or
- A combination of both
That’s just 22 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day. No matter how busy you are, we can ALL find 22 minutes.
It’s also important to include strength training exercises on at least two days per week.
If you’re a parent, then remember that your kids need more exercise than you do. Children and adolescents should get at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
If you need a little motivation to get active, we’re here to help! Here are 15 health benefits of living an active lifestyle:
1. IT KEEPS YOUR HEART HEALTHY
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, killing one Australian every 12 minutes. It affects 4.2 million Aussies and accounted for nearly 30% (43,477) of all deaths in 2017.
Exercise is vital in the prevention of CVD and improving heart health. Not only will being physically active prevent you from developing several risk factors associated with the disease, but it will also strengthen your cardiovascular system.
Exercise also plays an integral role in cardiac rehabilitation. It results in reduced mortality, greater reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduced systolic blood pressure. Being active in your rehabilitation post a cardiac event is vital in preventing a relapse and promoting longevity and quality of life. It’s important to get expert advice when exercising after a cardiac event, so chat to your doctor about a referral to an exercise physiologist to help you get moving safely.