Let’s Get Moving! Why Physical Activity is Important
Exercise has become almost a curse word in our culture. We dread going to the gym, and life always seems to get in the way. Between work, taking care of our family, who has time for the gym?
We have been led to believe that exercise is just something to do so we can lose weight and look good. However, physical activity has many benefits for our physical and mental health and can help us live longer and better lives.
Benefits of Exercise
These are just a few of the ways regular exercise can improve our daily lives:
1. It Will Help You Lose Those Extra Pounds
Any physical activity will burn calories, so getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise will help boost our metabolism and help us burn more calories, which in turn will help slim our waistlines and look fabulous.
For those of you who are already at your ideal weight, exercise can help you maintain it.
2. It Can Make You Feel Happier
Exercise not only changes your body it also has a positive impact on your brain by causing changes in the part of the brain that regulates stress and anxiety.
Exercising increases our brain’s sensitivity to hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression; and stimulated the production of endorphins which reduce the perception of pain.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
3. It’s Good for Your Muscles and Bones
As we age, we lose muscle mass and function which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Physical activity and a healthy diet will help you grow and maintain healthy muscle mass.
Exercise especially high-impact activities like running or walking, help build bone density and reduces our risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
4. Increases Your Energy Levels
You may think that adding exercise to your long list of things to do, will only serve to make you even more tired than you are, but this would be wrong.
Physical activity is, in fact, a fantastic energy booster for anyone, even people who suffer severe chronic illnesses and persistent fatigue.
5. Reduces Your Risk of Chronic Disease
According to the National Institutes of Health, the lack of physical activity is the primary cause of most chronic diseases.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Many Types of Cancer
Regular exercise can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.
6. Get A Better Night’s Rest
Exercising can help you fall asleep faster and get better sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.
7. Helps Put the Spark Back into Your Sex Life
When we exercise, we feel and look better, which can help emotionally boost our sex life.
Additionally, regular physical activity may enhance sexual arousal in women and reduce erectile dysfunction in men.
Take it Slow, Do it Right and Avoid Injuries
Exercise is meant to improve our lives not to make them more difficult.
Regardless of what your fitness level is, everyone is vulnerable to a sports injury. Common exercise-related injuries include:
- Muscle Strains
- Tendinitis—inflammation of a tendon, often due to overuse
- ACL and Meniscus Tears of the Knee—a rip in one of the ligaments that helps stabilize the knee or cartilage that cushions the knee joint
- Rotator Cuff Tears—rips in the group of muscles and their tendons that hold the arm in the shoulder socket.
Tips to Avoid Exercise-Related Injuries
- Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program, this is especially important for women over age 55, men over the age of 45 and anyone with a chronic illness
- Choose the right workout for your age and fitness goals
- Stretch, warm up, and cool down before and after your exercise program
- Cross train, vary your workout routine to avoid overstressing one set of muscles
- Learn the proper technique and mind your posture
- Never push yourself to the point of pain
- Wear the right gear
- Start gradually, don’t try to do too much all at once
- Stay hydrated
When to Visit Altus Emergency Center
You should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you have any of the following symptoms or signs:
- Your pain is unbearable
- You can’t put weight on your injured leg
- The injured area is severely swollen
- You fear you may have a broken bone
- You have bleeding that won’t stop
- You experience numbness, tingling or weakness, these may be signs of a nerve injury
May is National Fitness and Sports Month, and Altus Emergency Centers invited you to celebrate it by increasing your weekly physical activity. Remember, exercising will help you look fabulous, feel better and live longer.