College of DuPage Nursing Student Marta Jasinski asks Healthy Lombard followers, “Do you lack the motivation to engage in regular physical activity?” Awareness of the numerous benefits of both physical activity and exercise may help motivate even those who are least interested in physical activity to begin. Routine physical activity or an exercise program can be implemented at any age, starting with those who are young and continuing into older age. This article will provide several benefits of becoming more active to encourage overall health for the entire family.
To begin with, physical activity and exercise are not the same. Physical activity is any activity, whereas exercise is planned and structured movement. Either will help with mental well-being and improve mood. Stress is relieved and cognitive thinking and acuity, and ability to focus are improved (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). In general, physical activity and exercise help to increase energy levels throughout the day. Another advantage of physical activity and exercise is their contribution to decreasing depression and anxiety (CDC, 2021). When people are active, sleep also improves tremendously (CDC, 2021).
Physical activity and exercise help with wellness, and along with a healthy diet, facilitate weight loss which is also beneficial in preventing disease. When people are consistently active, blood pressure and cholesterol are improved and the chance of type 2 diabetes is reduced (CDC, 2021).
For an older population, staying physically active helps slow the loss of bone density and minimizes the risk of falling and associated injuries (CDC, 2021). Not all exercise needs to be vigorous. There are various modes that exist, from aerobics to weight-bearing activities such as, running, walking, jumping jacks, etc., in addition to stationary exercises (CDC, 2021).
One of the best ways to live longer and healthier, therefore, is to not wait to start exercising. The key may be to establish a habit by performing some type of activity on a regular basis. It takes motivation, but everyone can do it to stay healthy and strong – it is the type of decision you will not regret!
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 5). Benefits of Physical Activity. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm