Experts often disagree as to what the ideal intensity, precise duration and exact type of exercise is to obtain maximum health. What health experts can all agree to however, is that maintaining a healthy active lifestyle and exercising regularly is fundamental to leading a long healthy life. What exactly constitutes a “healthy active lifestyle” will vary depending on the expert asked, but the general consensuses seems to be that about half an hour of activity just 5 times per week can yield some pretty drastic life long results. There are countless scientific studies on the benefits of an active lifestyle but below are the three reasons I choose to stay active.
1) Physical Health
Staying active, along with eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, can do wonders to ones long term health. Information obtained from National Institute of Health (NIH), Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Health Service (NHS) state that regular exercise has the ability to reduce the risk of developing diseases and health complications as well as promote good health.
Exercise Can Reduce the Risk of Developing: Cardiovascular Disease (cardiovascular disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States), Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Some Cancers (colon and breast), Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, High Blood Pressure, High Low-Density Lipoprotein Levels (bad cholesterol), Stroke, Arthritis, Depression and Dementia.
Exercise Can Help: Manage and Reduce Blood Pressure, Control Weight, Increase High-Density Lipoprotein Levels (good cholesterol), Maintain Healthy Bones, Muscles and Joints, Lower Triglyceride Levels, Manage Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels, Reduces Levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Decrease Stress, Improve Sleep, as well as Increase Energy and Libido.
[Exercise] can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
2) Mental Health
Exercise has been proven to elevate mood and improve attitude, ever hear of a runner’s high? While the jury is still out on what the exact causes of a runner’s high is it is well know that exercise releases endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and endocannabinoids all of which can contribute to you feeling happier and more relaxed.
Exercising regularly can help you feel a sense of accomplishment as well as make you feel better about your appearance thus boosting your self-esteem and confidence. Regular exercise is credited with reducing stress and depression.
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits.
In my opinion the most important benefit of living an active life style is the joy and excitement it brings to me each and every day. Whether I am playing organized sports, shooting hoops in my driveway, going on an all day snowshoeing expedition, a quick hike, or a Sunday morning run I love being active. Of the countless ways to live an active lifestyle there is surely a fit for everyone!
Know any other awesome benefits to living an active lifestyle? What motivates you to exercise? Post a comment below!