The amount and intensity of physical activity makes a difference. Too much of either may lead to injury or illness. On the other hand, too little will produce minimal benefits and won’t slow the effect of ageing.
Ultimate benefits or positive side-effects of physical activity depend on getting the mix right.
If you are doing the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of ‘moderate’ physical activity and 60-90 minutes of ‘vigorous’ exercise a week you will most likely have realised multiple benefits. There is much more than just fitness to be gained from being physically active. Health benefits for both your body and mind are well-documented and there are many.
Firstly, frequent activity often creates a feeling of wellbeing that in turn promotes happiness, a clearer mind, vitality and more energy for work and play. Mental processing seems to improve with adequate physical activity by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain. There is strong evidence that this is the most important way to reduce the incidence of dementia.
Being more active enhances biorhythm or our own body clock to work better with improved sleep, regulated waking times and those other daily functions that are necessary for heath. There is a widening of lifestyle possibilities that results from improved stamina, strength, mobility and muscular endurance. By being fit we are able to participate in active recreation, enjoy holidays without restrictions and even socialise with more flair and interest.
The more obvious benefits of being sufficiently active are: improved resistance to disease; cardiovascular conditioning; vigour; stronger muscles but also bones, therefore less risk of osteoporosis; and a reduced incidence of diabetes and obesity. Did you know that the right dose and types of exercise can reduce the chance of cancer? Even sufferers of cancer can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy by being active.
So, are you active enough to make a difference to your health, your life?
Gregg Orphin AEP AES
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Healthfit Exercise Physiology Services