Physical fitness is one of the top indicators of health and longevity. Your body was designed to move. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina, and balance. Many of the aches and pains people often attribute to getting older really are just the physical side effects of an inactive lifestyle.
According to the American Heart Association, with moderate exercise such as brisk walking for just 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, you can experience an amazing number of health benefits. If 30-minute blocks of time don’t fit into your schedule, try breaking it down to three 10 minute sessions.
Here are some of the health benefits of getting just 30 minutes of moderate activity a day:
- Increases the flow of oxygen to the brain and improves mental acuity and memory
- Enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
- Keeps weight under control
- Helps in the battle to quit smoking
- Improves blood cholesterol levels
- Prevents and manages high blood pressure
- Prevents bone loss
- Boosts energy level
- 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 heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
- Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people, and by 27 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 for seniors