Physical activity is any physical movement produced by the muscles of the body that requires the consumption of energy, and exercise includes many physical activities; Such as walking, running, swimming, and dancing, which helps to maintain the health of the body and protect it from diseases. As for physical inactivity, meaning a lack of physical activity; It is the fourth leading cause of death in the world.
Exercising positively affects the health of the body, regardless of age, gender, or physical ability. Here are some of the health benefits of exercising:
- Weight control: regular exercise helps to lose weight and prevent weight gain; As physical activity works on calories, and the greater the strength of physical activity, the more calories burned in the body
- Preserving muscle mass during weight loss: Regular exercise contributes to preserving muscle mass while following a weight loss diet. Whereas, reducing the calories in the diet leads to a decrease in the metabolic rate in the body. This leads to a reduction in caloric burning, and on the contrary, exercise increases the metabolism rate, and thus increases calorie burning and fat loss in the body, while preserving muscle mass.
- Maintaining muscle and bone strength: Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscles and bones. This is because it helps stimulate the production of hormones that enhance the ability of muscles to absorb amino acids, and thus help them grow, and limit muscle loss during aging, as well as help, build bone mass during growth and contribute to preventing osteoporosis.
- Maintaining the health of the skin: moderate exercise helps to increase the production of antioxidant antibodies in the body and promotes blood flow to the skin. This will preserve the health of the skin and delay the appearance of signs of aging.
- Maintain a healthy brain and memory: Exercise helps improve brain function, memory, and mental skills. As it increases the heart rate. This increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, and exercise stimulates the production of hormones that promote the growth of brain cells.
- Pain Relief: Regular exercise helps relieve chronic pain; Whereas, exercise can help increase the body’s ability to tolerate and control pain, including pain associated with various health conditions, including chronic low back pain and Fibromyalgia
- Combating various diseases: Regular exercise, regardless of the person’s current weight, helps reduce the level of unhealthy triglycerides, and maintains smooth blood flow; This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, as it reduces the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer, and arthritis.
- Energy boost: regular exercise helps increase muscle strength and endurance. This is because it helps oxygen and nutrients reach the tissues of the body, and it also helps the heart and blood vessels to work efficiently, and when the health of the heart and lungs improves, a person has more energy to do daily activities.
- Improve sleep: regular exercise, regardless of type, helps to relax, increase the depth of sleep, in addition to increasing activity during the day; It was found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week can improve sleep quality by 65%. This is due to the high body temperature, and the increase in the energy depleted during exercise. Which stimulates compensatory processes during sleep, but to obtain those results; Do not exercise immediately before bed.
- Feeling fun: Regular exercise provides an opportunity to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and engage in various activities, and it also helps to increase communication with family and friends in an enjoyable social environment.
- Improving mood: regular exercise helps to cause changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety, and increases the sensitivity of the brain to certain hormones, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and endorphins. As these hormones work to alleviate feelings of depression and promote positive feelings, it is worth noting that mood improves regardless of the intensity of the physical activity.
Types of physical activity
Physical activities are divided into two parts, depending on the amount of energy the body consumes per minute:
Moderate intensity physical activity:
- Walk at a speed of 3 miles per hour or faster.
- Water aerobics.
- Cycling at speeds of less than 10 mph.
- Gardening and lawn work.
High-intensity physical activity:
- Bicycling 10 miles an hour or faster.
- Heavy gardening
- Hiking uphill or with a heavy bag.
The global recommendations for physical activity concern all healthy adults of the age group (18-64 years) unless there are medical conditions that prevent it, and they apply to all adults, males, and females, regardless of their origins or ethnicities, and these recommendations are divided into three sections:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity spread over the course of the week.
- At least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity spread over the course of the week.
- A combination of moderate-intensity and high-intensity physical activity.
Moderately intense activities can be practiced in multiple short periods, each lasting at least 10 minutes, so the activities are combined (30 minutes a day) and five times a week.