For those of you who need some concrete motivation to take charge of your health and get up and get moving, the evidence from scientific studies is as solid as a rock: Physical activity is crucial to good health and overall well-being. Here’s what we know for sure:
- People who are phusically active are less likely than people who are inactive to die of heart disease and some types of cancer, such as colon cancer.
- As they get older, active people have a better quality of life and suffer fewer disabilities than inactive people.
- Physical activity helps keep blood pressure down, minimizes bone loss as we age, and lowers the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.
- Physical activity helps people maintain their weight effectively.
- People who are regularly active report feeling less stressed and more able to cope with life than when they were inactive. They are less likely to feel depressed or anxious than sedentary people.
- Many people in physical activity studies report feeling more energetic and productive than before they increased their activity.
- People who become physically active often report sleeping better than when they were inactive.
And finally, daily physical activity could help you ward off cold and flu bugs. Not long ago, exercise physiologist David Nieman and colleagues, studied 32 women–some who got no exercise and some of whom took up walking as daily activity. After 12 weeks, the nonwalkers reported twice as many days with cold or flu symptoms as the walkers. Blood tests showed that the women in the walking group had boosted their immune systems. Since then, many other studies have shown that moderate physical activity–a 30-minute brisk walk repeated on most days of the week–can bolster the body’s immune defenses.
Need I say more?! Take care and be well!