Enjoyment & challenge. Learning something new and engaging in activities with meaning & purpose.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
The benefits are not restricted to the physical domain only. Physical activity can also impact positively on emotional and psychological well-being. The Royal College of Psychiatrists state the less active you are, the more likely you are to end up with low mood, depression, tension and worry.
They state that if you keep physically active, you are:
More likely to feel good about yourself.
More likely to concentrate and focus better.
More likely to sleep better.
More likely to be able to keep mobile and independent as you get older.
More likely to cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms if you try to give up a habit, such as smoking or alcohol.
Less likely to be depressed, anxious or tense.
Possibly less likely to have problems with memory and dementia.
They add that even a small change in physical activity levels can boost your morale, give you a sense of achievement and help you to feel better in yourself.
OTHER BENEFITS INCLUDE
20-30% Reduced risk of developing depression.
Improved cognitive function.
Improved feelings of well-being.
20-30% reduction in risk for developing dementia and Alzheimer's .
Improved self-concept, self-esteem and body image.
Improved mood and reduced anxiety.
As well as the beneficial effects of physical activity on chronic medical conditions, there are many other physical benefits, including:
Improved dyspnea (breathlessness).
Improved symptom perception.
Improved quality and quantity of sleep.
Improved quality of life.
Improved performance of activities of daily living (ADLs).
Prevention or alleviation of functional limitations in older adults - physical activity reduces the risk of the prevention or delay in function and/or role limitations by 30%.
Preserving and enhancing physical function, mobility and increased independence.
Reduced risk of falls and injuries from falls - older adults who take part in regular physical activity have roughly a 30% reduced risk of falls.
Effective therapy for many chronic diseases in older adults.
Moderate-intensity physical activity stimulates our body's musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and metabolic systems, resulting in them adapting and becoming more efficient over time. This can lead to a lower all-cause mortality and with roughly a 30% reduction in risk when meeting the recommendations.
There are several relatively acute (short-term) effects following physical activity, including the management of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, maintenance of mental and physical function, mobility, and post-exercise hypotension (lower blood pressure).
Doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity helps to prevent and manage over twenty chronic diseases/conditions. These include:
Hypertension (high blood pressure).
Coronary artery/heart disease (CAD/CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke - there is a 20-35% reduction in risk for each.
30-40% reduction in risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in those who are at least moderately active compared to the sedentary.
Cancer - there is roughly a 30% reduced risk of colon cancer and about 20% reduced risk for breast cancer.
Improved energy balance, leading to reduced risk of obesity, and weight loss or maintenance.
Mental health problems.
36-68% reduction in risk for hip fractures and bone mineral density can improve by 1-2%. Taking part in moderate-intensity, low-impact physical activity benefits those with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia in terms of pain, function, quality of life and mental health. Appropriate activity can increase skeletal muscle mass, strength, power and intrinsic neuromuscular activation.
For group exercise programmes, there are additional benefits:
Increased social interaction, social support and integration.
Maintaining and increasing social networks.
Maintaining social contacts and remaining engaged with the local community.
Decreased social isolation.
Short-term benefits include:
Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage of opportunity and strength
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