Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases.
Being physically active can help you:
· Increase your chances of living longer
· Sleep better at night
· Have stronger muscles and bones
· Maintain a healthy weight
· Feel better about yourself
· Enjoy yourself and have fun.
When you are not physically active,
you are more likely to:
· Develop heart disease
· Develop type 2 diabetes
· Have high blood pressure
· Have high cholesterol
· Have a stroke or a heart attack.
Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health. Being active increases the amount of calories burned. As people age their metabolism slows, so maintaining energy balance requires moving more and eating less.
Certain types of physical activities are especially beneficial:
These types of exercises make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity. Vigorous activities take more effort than moderate ones. Examples of moderate activities include: walking, raking leaves, playing actively with your kids, walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or mowing the lawn. Examples of vigorous activities include: running, jumping rope, or doing high impact step aerobics.
These types of activities make your muscles stronger. Examples include: Push-ups or weight lifting. In terms of strengthening activities, it is important to work all the different parts of the body – your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders and arms.
Balance and Stretching
These types of activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduces risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts and t'ai chi.
How much physical activity you need to do each week depends on your age.
Physical activity for adults aged 19–60
To stay healthy, adults aged 19–60 should try to be active daily and should do a mix of moderate- and vigorous physical activities every week. The recommended guidelines list 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.