People are always on the hunt for the latest and greatest healthy tips for a healthy life, but the best will always remain the same – keep active and eat a well balanced nutritious diet.
It's no secret that eating well is good for your health, but the addition of plenty of exercise will allow you to live longer and feel better. Who wouldn't want that?
Below we are going to explain what are the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and delve a little deeper into why keeping active is so important for your health.
Why Be More Physically Active?
Keeping fit and being physically active is a key element of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does exercise keep you feeling and looking good, it also keeps the body working at its best and reduces the risk of developing many avoidable health concerns.
Lack of physical activity can lead to:
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Depression and other mental health issues
- Reduced body confidence
By being physically active, you will be putting your body in the best position of health. It can be all too easy to fall into a routine of skipping out exercise and putting it off till tomorrow, but even if your diet is fantastic, your health will suffer very quickly as a result.
It is said that as little as 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity is all it takes for you to reap the rewards of exercise, so why not start right now!
The Top 4 Benefits Of A Physically Active Lifestyle
1. Less Risk Of Colds And Illness.
Catching an illness or landing a cold now and again is, for the most part, unavoidable, but if you find yourself regularly feeling under the weather and getting sick, it could due to a lack of physical activity.
Not getting enough exercise puts you at a far higher risk of gaining weight/body fat. Now you might be wondering what body fat has to do with colds? But did you know that higher levels of body fat are directly linked to an increase of inflammation in the body?
As well as causing joint pain, increased blood pressure, and potentially some cancers, generalized inflammation also results in a negative effect on the immune system. The immune system is the body's natural line of defense that fights off viruses and diseases such as colds.
Because exercise is so great for reducing body weight, it inadvertently reduces your risk of colds and illness by allowing the immune system to work at its best.
2. Great For Maintaining Weight.
Maintaining weight is often seen as this mythical task that can only be the result of magic. However, the equation for managing weight is actually pretty simple. If calories in equals calories out – bodyweight will be maintained.
So if you eat the same amount of calories as what you burn off in a day, your body weight will, in theory, stay the same. Of course, factors such as water weight can come into consideration, but as a general rule, equal calories in as out will keep your body weight consistent.
Physical activity burns calories and also speeds up the metabolism, which means that you will burn even more calories while simply resting, making it easier for you to hit that equilibrium – How great is that!
It should also be mentioned that the same calorie equation is exactly how weight loss and weight gain work:
- If you consume more calories then what you burn, bodyweight will increase.
- If you consume less calories then what you burn off, bodyweight will decrease.
3. Helps With Improving Sleep.
Having a restless night is not on anyone's to-do list, although having one now and again is not going to pose too much cause for concern.
Not getting enough high-quality sleep regularly, on the other hand, can quickly lead to a whole host of adverse side effects, including:
- Mood swings
- Low sex drive
- Mental health issues
- Weight gain
- Memory issues
- Weakened immune system
Exercise is a fantastic tool to use to make falling asleep easier and improve sleep quality as a whole. Keeping active significantly reduces stress, which is a leading cause of many sleep disorders, including insomnia and restless feet syndrome.
Leading an active lifestyle also uses up a lot of energy, which is naturally going to make you feel more tired in the evenings, encouraging longer, deeper, and generally better sleep periods.
The health benefits of getting enough sleep include better brain health, quicker body recovery, and increased energy levels.
4. Better For Your Blood Pressure.
Did you know that high blood pressure is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke? But worry not, as blood pressure can be properly managed and reduced through a good diet and you guessed it, plenty of exercise!
The bad cholesterol that we consume, found in foods such as fatty cuts of meat, oils, and most dairy products, eventually ends up in our blood once it has been metabolized. When cholesterol levels in blood exceed what the body can process, the cholesterol cells sediment themselves on the walls of arteries and form a waxy substance called plaque.
This build-up of plaque eventually narrows blood channels, resulting in a higher blood pressure.
By exercising regularly, the heart will become stronger and more efficient, resulting in less effort needed to pump blood throughout the body and in turn, decrease the force in which blood passes through the arteries. This force is what we refer to as blood pressure.
Why should you be Physically Active?
Above, we have covered my personal top 4 benefits of keeping active to answer, "what are the benefits of a physically active lifestyle?" But it is important to remember that the list does not stop there; the benefits of exercise and keeping active near enough endless.
As little as 30 minutes a day can be enough, so keeping active doesn't have to be a chore – taking the first step is often the hardest.
Once you get into the swing of things, keeping active can quickly become one of the most enjoyable parts of your day! And as soon as you start feeling the health benefits, you will only wonder why you didn't start sooner!