The consequences of physical inactivity are staggering.
More of us are overweight.
- Adult an childhood obesity and overweight levels continue to increase. Sixty-five percent of all adults are obese or overweight.
It is more difficult today to create an active lifestyle.
- People are less active due to technology and better mass transportation.
- Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950. Physically active jobs now make up only about 25% of our workforce. That is 50% less than in 1950.
- Our average work week is longer. Americans work 47 hours a week-164 more hours a year than 20 years ago.
Extra weight costs us physically and financially.
- Obesity costs American companies $225 billion a year in health related productivity losses.
- The average healthcare cost exceeds $3000 per person annually. An obese employee costs employers an additional $460 to $2500 in medical costs and sick days per year.
Here are some reasons why physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health.
Physical activity boosts mental wellness.
- Regular physical activity can relive tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may not only notice a positive reaction immediately following physical activity, but most people also notice an improvement in general well-being over time, during the weeks and months as physical activity becomes a part of your routine.
- Exercise increases the flow of oxygen which directly affects the brain. Your mental acuity and memory can be improved with physical activity.
Physical activity improves physical wellness.
- Stronger immunity. It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- Reduces risk factors. Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That’s the equivalent of what some anti-hypertensive medications can do to lower blood pressure.
- Physical activity can also boost your levels of good cholesterol.
Physical activity prolongs your optimal health. Without regular physical activity the body loses it’s strength, stamina and ability to function well. For each hour of regular exercise you get you’ll gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age. The benefits are bountiful:
- Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
- Keeps weight under control
- Helps in the battle to quit smoking
- Prevents and manages high blood pressure
- Prevents bone loss
- Boosts energy levels
- Helps manage stress
- Releases tension
- Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
- Counters anxiety and depression
- Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
- Improves self-image
- Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
- Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
- Reduces coronary artery disease in women thirty to forty percent
- Reduces risk of stroke by twenty percent in moderately active people and by twenty seven percent in highly active ones
- Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity,high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life
- Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
Source: The American Heart Association
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