Why is it so important to be physically active?
Obesity, which is linked with physical inactivity, has nearly tripled worldwide since 1975; 39% of adults are now overweight. Physical inactivity and obesity that directly contribute to chronic diseases, which are collectively responsible for 71% of deaths worldwide every year. (World Health Organization, 2020).
On top of helping your energy balance, weight control, musculature development and cardiorespiratory performance, being physically active strengthen your bones health and reduces the risk of falling and of some bone fractures. It also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer (such as breast and colon) and is a powerful depression antidote.
If this information did not convince you yet to save some time every week for a physical activity, maybe these statistics from recent studies will.
- The NCBI reports a reduction of 21% of Coronary Heart Disease instances in men who regularly exercise. The numbers are even higher for women, represented as a 29% decrease.
- The UK’s National Health Service and Dementia Australia reports a 30% decrease of the risk of dementia amongst physically active individuals.
- The National Sleep Foundation reports that over 60% of physically active individuals report better sleep.
- The University of British Columbia pointed out in a study that physical exercise increased the size of the hippocampus (part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning).
What are the World Health Organization recommendations?
Adulty should do at least 15 minutes weekly and ideally 300 minutes of moderate physical activity (walking, dancing, housework, gardening…) or at least 75 minutes of intense one (running, aerobic, cycling, basketball, football, tennis…). Muscle building activities involving major muscle groups should be practiced twice a week. Finally, adults over 64 years old and people with reduced mobility should participate in physical activity that improve balance and prevent falls three days a week or more.
It is advised that kids and teenagers from 4 to 17 years old to practice at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Their activities schedule should include activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least three times a week.