Discover the benefits of physical activity and start having fun

October 16, 2014

We seem to be hearing it from every direction these days: an active life is the key to better health, but do you know about the emotional benefits of physical activity? Doing a little exercise each day can change your mood and give you a whole new perspective on life.

The benefits of physical activity for the mind

As paradoxical as it seems, the mind needs physical activity just as much as the body does. Doing exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and it prevents depression. It’s a fantastic adult way to have fun.

Being active also slows down the ageing of the brain and delays the loss of cognitive functions, including memory. Physical activity is an excellent remedy against bad mood and sleep problems, but best of all, it boosts self-confidence and an overall sense of well-being.

The benefits of physical activity for the body

Being active strengthens your physical condition in many ways. In addition to improving your balance, muscle strength, flexibility and coordination, exercising improves your immune system, posture, concentration and reflexes.

It also helps children develop healthy habits that will serve them well in life, and it allows seniors to remain independent longer. Physical activity lowers blood pressure and helps you control your weight; it also shortens recovery time when you’ve got an injury.

Preventing disease

Although physical activity usually brings about tangible results, such as improved strength or a better mood, some of its benefits are subtler. Leading an active life can help you prevent the following diseases:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer

Physical activity and sports

To fully reap the benefits of physical activity, adults should remain active for about 30 minutes a day; children need to have about one hour’s physical activity each day. Do you have to play a sport to be physically active? Not at all! All physical activity counts: walk to work, clean the house, dance and do some gardening. You don’t need to play an organized sport every day to lead an active life. You just need to get moving.

Physical activity and social life

One of the greatest benefits of physical activity is that it allows you to spend time with family and friends, or to meet new people. And that’s healthy, too.

Discover the benefits of physical activity and start having fun
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