There are many health benefits associated with regular physical activity, including a reduced risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and death, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and poor lipid profiles.

People who meet the physical activity guideline of approximately 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week have an estimated 33% lower risk of death from all causes compared to those who are not physically active. However, the benefits of reducing all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disease are seen with any amount of moderate physical activity. 

Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of many types of cancer. It can aid in weight loss when combined with a low-calorie diet and helps prevent recovery from an initial weight loss. The neurological and emotional benefits include better cognition and a lower risk of dementia. Reduced anxiety, decreased risk of depression, and improved sleep, among other benefits. 

Physical activity refers to any movement that is generated by the skeletal muscles and consumes energy, while physical fitness is a measurable condition such as strength or endurance. Exercise is a planned physical activity aimed at improving your physical condition and health.

Physical fitness is divided into five categories: cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition gives guidance on the amounts and types of physical activity needed to improve or maintain health and reduce chronic disease.

What is physical activity?

The WHO defines physical activity as any body movement that is generated by the skeletal muscles and that requires the expenditure of energy. Physical activity refers to all movement, including in leisure time, for transportation to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Activity improves health. 

Popular ways to be active include hiking, biking, cycling, sports, active recreation, and play, and they can be done at any level and for any amount of fun. 

Regular physical activity has been shown to help prevent and control noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers; It also helps prevent high blood pressure, maintain healthy body weights, and improve mental health, quality of life, and wellbeing.

What is the relationship between physical activity, physical fitness, and body weight?

Physical fitness and exercise can reduce the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality for any bodyweight. Studies have shown that all-cause and cardiovascular mortality are lower in physically fit people with a high BMI compared to people with poor physical conditions and a normal BMI. Overweight or obese people can improve their health by becoming physically active regardless of changes in their body weight. 

Low moderate to vigorous physical activity of about 75 minutes per week (half the recommended adult guidelines) results in a 1.8-year increase in life expectancy, and when people reach the recommended physical activity level there is a 3.4- year increase in life expectancy Life expectance at all BMI levels. Inactivity and a high BMI (35,039.9) were associated with 7.2 years of life lost compared to following physical activity and normal weight guidelines. 

Exercise, a component of physical activity, combined with restricting calories, may contribute to weight loss. However, weight loss in people who do not limit calories can vary significantly from person to person, from 0 to 2 kg loss. In order to lose significant weight through the physical activity without a change in diet, one would have to increase one’s activity level well beyond the current physical activity guidelines.

Why is physical activity so important for health and well-being?

We know staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy, but did you know it can also improve your overall wellbeing and quality of life? 

These are just a few of the ways that physical activity can help you feel better, look better, and live better. Because why not?

It’s a natural mood lifter

Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. Do you know the “feeling of wellbeing” that you have after something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people find that they feel better over time as activity becomes a regular part of their lives.

It keeps you physically fit and able

Without regular activity, your body slowly loses strength, endurance, and functionality. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving to get old, you get old to move. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities.

It helps keep the doctor away

Get up when you eat your apple a day! Sitting too much and other sedentary activities can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, with one study showing that adults who watched TV for more than 4 hours a day were 80% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

 Being more active can help you

  • lower your blood pressure 
  • boost your levels of good cholesterol
  • improve blood flow (circulation)
  • keep your weight under control
  • prevent the bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions, and medications later in life!

It can help you live longer

True, the 70s are the new 60s, but only if you are healthy will people who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are inactive and obese, and most importantly, that those extra years Active adults generally retain their quality of life and independence longer with age.

Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity:

  • Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
  • Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
  • Helps you manage stress and tension.
  • Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
  • Helps you spend more time outdoors.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. You can do it in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts towards your goal. 

So that’s easy! Just move more, with more intensity, and sit less. You don’t have to make major life changes to see the benefits. Just become more active in your day step by step.

Why are physical fitness and physical activity important?

Many chronic conditions are influenced by physical activity and fitness, and a lack of adequate aerobic activity is associated with a 10 percent risk of premature death. Inadequate physical activity contributes approximately $ 117 billion in annual health care costs.

To Sum Up:

The small number of studies on the relationship between BMI, fitness, and physical activity underscores the need for longitudinal studies that reveal: 

  1. The causality between physical activity and obesity/fitness and obesity.
  2. The causal relationships between obesity, physical activity, and fitness. 

These results should be interpreted with caution, as no distinction is made between self-reported and objective physical activity, and studies on metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular disease were not considered. The importance of physical activity or fitness in predicting obesity remains unknown.

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