Top 10 Mind Blowing Benefits Of Physical Activity
So, you’re looking to add a little physical activity to your life, huh? Well ding dang nabbit, that’s awesome!!! Turns out, the benefits of physical activity are pretty sweet, and might I add, well worth the effort.
Yeah, you read that right. From reducing cancer risks to enhancing emotional well-being, being physically active comes with some mighty fine benefits that you just can’t find too many other places.
What other benefits come with a healthy dose of physical activity? I’m glad you asked. But, before I tell you, let’s first get into what actually counts as physical activity.
I Walked My Dog Earlier. Does That Count?
It sure does!
Seriously! If you “hate” exercise, you’re in luck. Although similar, physical activity and exercise are not synonymous.
Yes, exercise is a great way to be physically active, but, and this is a big but, you can be physically active without exercising.
I know, I know. Pretty exciting, right?
Seriously though. Activities such as taking your dog for a walk, mowing the lawn, washing your car, playing tag with your kids, or even going for a leisurely bike ride all count as physical activity.
I know again! The World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. This means just about any activity, that doesn’t involve you just sitting or lying around, can count as physical activity.
(Large standing ovation)
Gosh. Thanks guys. Wasn’t expecting that.
Well, now that we’ve got that straightened out, let’s get to what you’ve all been waiting for…a picture of this cute little puppy wuppy!
Ahhh, isn’t he the most adorable widdle thing???
OK, now let’s move on to the purpose of this article…the top 10 mind blowing benefits of physical activity.
Top 10 Mind Blowing Benefits Of Physical Activity
1. Improves Mood
Ever wish you could just feel better about life without relying on addictive medications, drugs, or alcohol? Well, you can!
Physically activity has been shown to boost mood and lessen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. This is because being physically active helps to boost those natural ‘feel good’ hormones which not only help alleviate depression and anxiety, but can also help decrease those stubborn aches and pains as well.
Wanna know what the best part is? These benefits come regardless of the level of physical activity.
2. Encourages A More Healthy Weight
Sure. Everyone knows going for a 5 mile run can help shed a few pounds. But did you know just being physically active in general can also do the trick?
Yepper doodles. Even seemingly simple activities such as gardening, taking your dog for a walk, and wrestling with your kiddos can also help boost your metabolism and keep it going long after you’re done.
This is of course great news if ‘working out’ isn’t really your thing.
3. Improves Bone And Muscle Health
You know what helps build strong bones and muscles? No, it’s not milk. It’s…you guessed it…physical activity!
Seriously, if you want to accelerate the development of arthritis and make sure your muscles are weak and injury prone, sit still and do nothing day in and day out.
Physical activity of any kind stresses your bones and muscles which helps make them stronger and more resilient to injury and osteoporosis. These benefits are even greater when you include a variety of activities to stress your body in a variety of ways.
4. Boosts Energy Levels
Want more energy? Looking for a little more pep in your step? Sweet! I’ve totally got you covered right now.
Physical activity of any kind has frequently been shown to boosts energy levels.
And you’ve most certainly experienced this for yourself. Think of the last time you sat and binge watched your favorite Netflix show for hours on end. How’d you feel when you were done? Probably pretty tired, lazy, and overall just plain blah.
Then, if you paid any attention, you probably noticed that you almost immediately felt better and more awake just by getting off your keister and moving around. You probably felt even more awake if you stepped outside and engaged in some kind of physical activity. Am I right or am I right?
This boost in energy is also why folks who take frequent ‘mini-breaks’ at work end up being more productive than those who don’t. The increase in energy allows you focus more and get more done in less time.
5. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
You can probably see already that regular physical activity comes with a ton of benefits. But maybe most appealing for some people is how it also decreases one’s risk of developing a variety of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and even cancer!
Already diagnosed? No worries. Engaging in regular physical activity can even help reverse many chronic diseases even if you’ve had them for years.
6. Improves Brain Health And Memory
What was I going to write again? Oh yeah. Regular physical activity increases blood flow to all areas of the body, including your brain, helping to improve brain function while also stimulating memory and thinking skills.
Research shows this is due, at least partly, to the release of hormones that stimulate the production of brain cells. Additionally, the part of your brain responsible for learning and memory, called the hippocampus, appears to grow in size with regular physical activity.
This benefit is especially important for older people as changes in brain structure and function can often lead to problems remembering things.
7. Improves Your Ability To Relax And Get To Sleep
Numerous studies have shown people’s ability to get and stay asleep improves during times of regular physical activity.
This makes sense when you consider physical activity helps to improve mood and decrease stress and anxiety.
If you don’t already give it a shot. The next time you have a stressful day try putting on your walking shoes and going for a 30 minute walk. I think you’ll be amazed about how much better you feel.
8. Improves Sex Life
DO YOU EVEN NEED ANOTHER REASON?!?!?! Just kidding…sort of.
Seriously though, regular physical activity has been proven (yes, proven!) to boost sexual drive, performance, and satisfaction in both men and woman.
I know! Additionally, physical activity has even been shown to reduce erectile dysfunction in men by 71%. Wowza!
9. Can Help With Your Social Life
This is one of the cooler benefits of physical activity many people don’t even consider. But just think about it. It’s pretty difficult to meet new people if never leave the house.
Seriously. If you’re looking to meet new people then getting physically active is a great place to start.
Even just working in your yard can lead to random people stopping by to comment on your work. And there’s about a million and one different walking and running groups you can join if that’s what you’re interested in.
And the best part? The people you meet will very often have similar interest to you being as you’re both engaging in the same activity.
So, get out there and meet your new BFF. They’re waiting for you!
10. Lengthens Lifespan
What do you get when you combine numbers one through nine above? A longer lifespan of course!
Yes, it’s true. Regular physical activity has been shown to lengthen lifespan. One study demonstrated a 3.4 year increase just by engaging in 150 minutes of brisk walking every week. Break that down and that’s barely over 21 minutes a day.
Do you think you could find 21 minutes a day to do something physical? I thinking you can.
How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
Now that we’ve blown your mind with the top 10 benefits of physical activity, you might be wondering, “how much physical activity do I need to start experiencing these incredible benefits for myself?”
And really it sort of depends. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Or about 21 minutes per day. I personally, however, don’t feel that this is enough for optimal health and well being.
What I mean is that you’d obviously be better off going for a walk with your kids for a half hour then following that up with an hour of gardening over just going for a family walk for a half hour then following that up with an hour of TV watching. Sure a half hour is good. But see how much better you feel when you do more.
Also keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be all at once. An hour of activity spread throughout the day is just as good as an hour all at once.
Do you notice any benefits of physical activity I left out? What do you do to stay active and healthy each day? Let us know in the comments section below!