Benefits of physical Activity and its Effect on Personal Growth

Jane has been sitting in her home office working, before her housemate Kate left home. She has been working for more than 5 hours and it seemed as though she didn’t move from the spot she had been before Kate left home.
Then Kate walks in
Kate: Jane! Jane!! Jane!!!
Jane: Oh! You are back already?
Kate: Yes I am… for over 5 minutes… and I have been calling you all the while! (Kate says looking pissed) 
Jane: Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t hear you and I didn’t see you come in.
Kate: Wait a minute! Have you been sitting here working all day?
(Kate looking surprised)
Jane: Yeaaaahhh… What’s the time again? 
Kate: So you didn’t even step out, walk around to stretch your legs or try to find something to eat? 
(Kate still looking surprised)
Girl, it’s been over 5 hours. 
Jane: I didn’t notice I have spent so much time working.
Then Kate begins to tell Jane more about physical activities, their health benefit and types as mentioned below.

Physical activity is defined as any form of bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require the utilization of energy. 

It could be in form of:

  • Exercise

These are physical activities carried out with the intention to improve health and stay fit.

  • Play

These are unorganized activities engaged in, mainly for fun or enjoyment.

  • Sport

It’s an organized, well-structured, and competitive activity. It is a fun and interactive way of exercising which does not have to feel like you are exercising.

Note: Exercise is a type of physical activity but not every physical activity is exercise.

Types of physical activities

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Weightlifting
  • Tennis
  • Swimming,
  • Yoga,
  • Gardening
  • Doing house chores
  • Climbing stairs
  • Cycling and lots more.

Benefits of Physical Activity

1. Physical activity or exercise reduces the risk of developing illnesses:

Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in “at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.”

Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities like walking, swimming, and gardening. Vigorous aerobic exercise could be activities like dancing and running. You can also engage in other exercises that require the use of weight machines or our body weight. Regular physical activity can also lower or control your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.

2. It improves your quality of life:

Research has shown that middle-aged and older adults, can live a longer and more healthy life by becoming more physically active, regardless of past physical activity levels or the risk factors.

High levels of exercise and increased physical activity over time can lower mortality(death) risk overall.

Note: You do not have to do high amounts of vigorous-intensity workout to decrease your risk of premature death. This risk decreases as you gradually improve the amount of physical activity you engage in.

3. Improves memory:

It improves our thinking, and brain function, thereby causing a sharper memory. Research has shown that aerobic and neuromotor exercise programs can cause an increase in both long-term and short-term memory function of the elderly.

4. Physical activity improves our mental health:

This happens by:

  • Decreasing the risk of anxiety, depression and ADHD.
  • Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal
  • It improves quality of sleep. 
  • It boosts your overall mood.
  • It builds resilience in the face of life’s challenges and helps you bounce back
  • Increased physical activity makes you feel more energized and more active.

6. It reduces stress:

Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that acts as the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins are also responsible for the “runner’s high” which is a euphoric feeling of joy, relaxation, and optimism that accompany many intense workouts.

7. Physical activity can boost your self-confidence:

As you begin to exercise and get into shape, you begin to get more confident in yourself. This will help build your self-image, improve your self-esteem, and your mood.

Also, physical activity increases your energy and stamina which will eventually motivate you and increase your energy level. This will help you to be more productive and succeed in many tasks. It can also help you to live a more positive life. All of these benefits can give you a sense of control over your body and your life.

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  1. […] a walk to clear your head, running, cooking, writing, listening to music, going to the beach, yoga, exercising, hanging out with friends. It can help you get out of your head and stop overthinking. Relaxation […]

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