Exercise and Health
benefits of physical activity and exercise on one’S HEALTH
Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise on One’s Health
Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise on One’s Health
Significant evidence shows that most of the people in the current global environment spend most of their time in office work that increase their level of inactivity. Similarly, most of the young people, including children and the adolescent are at a high risk of developing nutrition and inactivity related health problems due to their inactivity. The highest rate of inactivity among the global populations has led to an increase in lifestyle related conditions and death. As such, the incidences necessitate the need for a study focusing on the factors that reduce the level of physical activity and exercise among the global populations. Above all, achieving the desired reduction in the statistics of the populations affected by physical inactivity and lack of exercise depend on the creation of global awareness on the benefits of physical activity and exercises. Creating some global awareness about the advantages of physical activity and exercise will increase the health outcomes of the global population besides reducing inactivity related health challenges. Therefore, this research paper analyzes in detail the health and individual benefits of physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity and exercising have a variety of health and individual benefits. They help an individual to control his/her weight. Significant evidence shows that the physical activity and exercise help in preventing one from gaining excess weight alongside helping in maintaining the desired body weight. The weight loss or maintenance occurs irrespective of the physical activity one engages in to achieve the desired weight loss and maintain it. According to Netz (2009), most of the inactive people face the challenge of weight gain due to the accumulation of calories from the food consumed.
Engaging in physical activity and exercises help in the burning the excess calories in the body. Reduction in the level of accumulated calories results in the reduction of the body weight alongside its maintenance. However, the success of the ability of an individual to achieve the desired weight loss or maintenance depends on the ability to adopt healthy eating styles that will reduce the amount of calories taken on a daily basis. As such, this implies that reducing the amount of calories taken helps in the realization of the desired weight reduction and maintenance. Among the exercises recommended by healthcare professionals as modes of weight reduction and maintenance include moderate exercises such as light walking to vigorous exercises including running and swimming (Tarnopolsky, 2010).
Physical activity and exercise improve the mood of an individual. When an individual exercises, the brain releases a variety of chemicals, including adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. The influence of these chemicals on the body muscles brings about relaxation effects that often improve one’s mood. Empirical evidence shows that the physical activity and exercise help to improve the mood among the depressed individuals. As stated by Young (2010), engaging in 30 minutes intense exercise brings similar effects as the medications used for treating mood does. As such, combining the use of exercises and medications in the management of mood and depression, provide individuals with optimum health results. A number of exercises have proven effective in improving the health and health outcomes of the depressed individuals. For example, aerobics and cardiovascular exercises improve the mood and depression of an individual. Intense aerobics and cardiovascular exercises increase the release of the above stated chemicals increasing the mood and reducing depressive symptoms. Empirical evidence has shown that yoga exercises reduce stress and tension, improving the mood and managing depression. Improving the mood and psychological status improves one’s health outcomes (Netz 2009).
In addition, physical activity and exercise boost the energy requirement of one’s body. Empirical evidence shows that inactive individuals report high cases of fatigue and inabilities to execute their activities of the daily living. Regular exercises and physical activity contribute to the delivery of oxygen to most of the different organs and tissues of the body. An increase in nutrients and oxygen delivery to different body tissues, enhance the produced energy content and boost the strength of these organs and tissues. Similarly, an increase in the delivery of oxygen to organs, including the lungs, kidneys, liver, and the lungs increase their functioning abilities alongside eliminating toxic wastes, hence, increased availability of energy for the body tissues and organs. Young (2010) postulate that engaging in physical activities and exercises is likely to boost an individual’s energy needs significantly by approximately 65%. Moreover, physical activity and exercise stimulate the body to employ additional means of meeting the requirements of the body organs and tissues during strenuous exercises and activities. As such, engaging in regular physical activities and exercises generates the state of normalcy in the body characterized by a constant supply of adequate body energy (The Benefits, n.d.).
Regular exercise and physical activity, promote better sleep among individuals with sleep disorders and mental conditions that affect their sleep patterns. Robinson (2000) conducted a study to determine the effect of sleep on individuals suffering from insomnia showed that the physical activity and exercise improve their diagnosis from poor sleep to better sleep. It also leads to the reduction of symptoms associated with depression contributing to altered sleep patterns. The enhancement of the sleep pattern also occurs due to the enhanced vitality and a reduction of the incidence of sleep among individuals during daytime. Physical activity and exercise improve the sleep pattern of the old, by enabling them to develop better behaviors that promote their sleep. Moreover, physical activity and exercise stimulate the release of chemicals from the brain that promotes relaxation of the body muscles, hence, improving sleep. Physical activity and exercise also burn the calories that inhibit the release of the chemicals in the brain. Improved sleep pattern translates to the reduction of mood related disorders, enhanced productivity, and overall health and health outcomes of an individual (Tarnopolsky, 2010).
Research shows that the majority of the global population faces the challenges of psychological disturbances due to problems associated with their intimacy life. Regular physical activity and exercise improve one’s sexual life. It enhances their physical fitness and provides energy that has a significant effect on one’s physical intimacy life. Physical activity and exercise stimulate the release of hormones such as endorphins that help in relieving stress and relaxing the muscles of the body. These changes bring a reduction in the reduction of the cortisol produced by the body and increase the release of the sex hormones into the blood stream hence, enhanced sexual activity. Similarly, it also enhances the release of testosterone that fuels the bodies of the male and females and libido hence, improved sexual life and energy. It is inarguable that the physical activity and exercise are directly related to the physical fitness. The fitness enhances the functioning of the cardiovascular system that increases stamina, and libido hence, improved physical intimacy. Other ways in which physical activity and exercise improve one’s sexual life include reducing stress, mood disorders, and fatigue that play a role in reducing sexual abilities and libido (Netz, 2009).
Engaging in a variety of exercises and physical activities is a fun process. It promotes the elimination of challenges associated with the activities of the daily living such as stress related to the occupation one engages in on a daily basis. Physical activities and exercises provide them with an opportunity to relieve their stress, identify new talents, and coping strategies to manage the challenges associated with their occupation. The fun nature of the exercises and physical activities contribute to the elimination of mood related disorders such as depression and release of hormones that stimulate relaxation of the body muscles. Engaging in a variety of exercises and physical activities helps one to connect with friends and family members, a factor that enhances their social lives. In addition, engaging in physical activities and exercises such as swimming also contributes to the burning the excess calories in the body hence, the reduction of the body weight and its related health complications. Significant evidence also shows that exercise and physical activity improves the health and health outcomes of the old age in the society. It improves their self-esteem, psychological disturbances, and sharpening their brainpower. These changes improve their health and activity; hence, the need for active exercises and physical activity in old age ((Medical, 1991).
Research has it that regular physical activity and exercises reduce the risks of early death across populations of all ages. Physical activities and exercises such as cycling, walking, or swimming reduces the risks of early death significantly. The prevention of premature death starts with the reduction of health complications associated with high body weight. The human body is physiologically suited to function optimally as a specific ideal body weight. As such, a slight increase in the body weight above the normal results in the development of different health conditions that predispose an individual to early death. In addition, Mitchell, Church, & Zucker, (2008) acknowledge that engaging in physical activity or exercise at least twice per week results in a significant reduction of the mortality rate by 19%. Lack of physical activity and exercises increase the risk of early death by 23%, hence, showing the significance of physical activity and exercise. Incorporating other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, abusing alcohol, and abuse of other drug complexes the health status of an individual; hence, a premature death (Tarnopolsky, 2010).
A strong relationship exists between physical activity and exercises and the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Poor lifestyles contribute to a variety of risk factors such as high levels of lipids in the blood, obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure that causes cardiovascular complications. Significant evidence shows that reducing these risk factors reduces the risks of an individual having cardiovascular conditions such as stroke, cardiac arrest, and coronary heart disease. Regular exercises and physical activity reduce these risk factors in a number of ways. For instance, it promotes the reduction of the body weight that helps in the reduction of the blood pressure. Physical activity and exercises also reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood alongside the level of the total loading cholesterol in the blood stream. Reduction in the levels of the cholesterol leads to a decline in the level of blood lipids that contribute to the risks of coronary heart disease and atrophy of the heart muscles. The increase in the exercise tolerance of the body due to the effects of regular exercise creates an optimum functioning of the cardiovascular system (Robinson, 2000).
Moreover, physical activity and exercise increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscles alongside the respiratory system that increasing the functional abilities of these body organs. The increased availability of oxygen and nutrients ensure that the muscles acquire the required resources to accommodate the needs of the body in the event of exercise and physical activity. In addition, the exercise and physical activity increase the strength of the heart muscles, which translates to their increased ability to use the available oxygen to remove the toxic wastes brought by metabolism in the muscles. Other ways in which regular exercises and physical activity, improve the health and health outcomes of an individual include improving the contractility of the heart muscles, workload, and blood return and output to different body organs (8 Benefits of exercising, 2009).
A large percentage of the people around the world suffer from diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is definable as the condition characterized by the accumulation of fat around the waist region, low high-density lipoproteins, and high levels of triglycerides. The definition also encompasses the high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Regular activity influences the ability of the body to regulate the blood glucose level. This is enhanced by potentiating the ability of the beta and alpha to secrete insulin regulating the level of blood glucose in the body. Regular physical activity and exercises increase the body’s need for extra energy. Such increase translates to high body demands for glucose that stimulates the activity of insulin; hence, lowering of blood sugars and diabetic cases. Similarly, regular exercises and activity, improve diabetes by lowering the level of blood sugar, blood pressure, and low-density lipoproteins. The improved health and health outcomes among the diabetic patients occur due to increase in the loss of excess fats, build of body mass, and increase in the levels of high-density lipoproteins. As such, these changes imply that exercises and physical activity increase the responsiveness of the body towards insulin (Benefits of Exercise for your Health, 2013).
Regular exercise and physical activity have a direct effect on lowering the blood pressure. It is inarguable that the exercises and physical activity strengthen the heart that can pump blood to different body parts with less effort. The decreased effort the heart uses in pumping the blood translates to the reduction of blood pressure within the arteries and veins. Consequently, these effects result in a drop, in the blood pressure and minimization of cardiovascular related conditions. In addition, regular exercise and physical activity reduce systolic blood pressure to the desired level, a factor that contributes to the increased buildup of blood pressure in the blood vessels. Exercises such as aerobic exercises, stretching, and strength training contributes to the reduction in the blood pressure. Aerobic exercises lower the blood pressure by increasing the contractility of the heart muscles while strength training promotes the building of strong muscles that burn excess calories. Similarly, exercises and physical activity reduce high blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure. The changes in blood pressure occur due to a reduction in the blood lipid levels and increased strength of the heart muscles (Exercise, n.d).
Besides, regular exercises and physical activity results in a reduction, in the rates of cancer among the populations. Empirical evidence shows that the failure of the body to achieve the desired energy balance due to inactivity increases the risks of one acquiring cancers. In specific, strong evidence shows that regular physical activity and exercises reduce the incidences of cancers of the breast and colon. The physical activity also reduces other forms of cancer, such as the cancers of the endometrial of the prostate glands, lungs, and endometrium. Evidence has that the exercises and physical activities reduce the probability of an individual acquiring cancer by 30 to 40%. The exercises provide protective effects to the colon by inhibiting the development of adenomas, cancerous cells, and recurrence of polyps by balancing the energy needs of the body. It also regulates hormone metabolism that affects the mutation of the cancerous cells of the large intestines. Regular exercises and physical activity also prevent colorectal cancer by decreasing the contact time between potential carcinogens and the cells of the rectum. Mitchell, Church, & Zucker, (2008) recognize that the ability to prevent the cancers occurs due to the alteration of the inflammatory and immune mechanisms that predispose one to colorectal cancer alongside regulating insulin produced for blood sugar level regulation.
In addition, regular exercises and physical activity reduce the risks of depression and anxiety among the populations. As identified in the earlier analysis, exercises and physical activity stimulate the release of hormones such as the endorphins that bring relaxation effect on the muscles hence, relaxing effect. The effects brought by regular exercises and physical activity are effective as the use of pharmacological drugs that are used for managing anxiety and depression. Apart from stimulating the release of endorphins, regular exercise and physical activity alter the chemistry of the brain. Exercise and physical exercise stimulate the cells of the brain to release GABA neurotransmitters that bring calming effect that reduces symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. In addition, studies have shown that exercise prevents depression by lowering the level of stress, boosting one’s self-esteem, and improving sleep, factors postulated to increase the risks of depression and anxiety among the populations. The exercises and physical activities also reduce the production of chemicals by the immune system worsening symptoms of depression and increasing the body’s temperature. This brings the calming effects besides reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Other ways in which regular exercise and physical activity prevent anxiety and depression include building one’s self-confidence, promote the development of positive coping mechanisms and enhancing social interaction (Medical, 1991).
Mitchell, Church, and Zucker (2008) stated that regular exercises and physical exercises strengthen the bones and joints and the overall improvement of the health outcomes of an individual. Being active maintains the strength of the bones and joints by maintaining its density. The strengthening of the muscles around the joints translates to the functional abilities of the muscles and reduction in the risks of bone fractures and joint damage. Bones and joints require a variety of exercises to remain healthy. Prolonged inactivity in people suffering from osteoarthritis stiffens the joints and surrounding tissues. The stiffening leads to weakening of the surrounding tissues and chronic pain that could be eliminated by performing regular exercises and physical activity. As such, this shows that performing regular exercises and physical activities promote the strength of the tissues surrounding the bone and tissues adjacent to it; hence, the strength, and reduction of pain and osteoporosis (Exercise n.d).
In addition, regular exercises and physical activities preserve the range of motion of the joints, providing one with the ability to perform a variety of exercises. The flexibility provides an individual with the advantage of reduced incidences of falls, fractures, and damage to joints alongside the tissues surrounding it. The ability of regular exercises to slow down the progression of osteoporosis also contributes to the reduction of falls, bone fractures, and damage to the joints. Exercises like weight-bearing, low impact exercises, and regular brisk have shown to reduce the progression of osteoporosis and bone fractures significantly. Weight bearing exposes the bones and joints to significant stress. This leads to the improvement of the muscle strength and regular brisk improve mobility of the bones while low impact exercises improve balance and strength of the bones. Similarly, these exercises have shown effective in improving the bone strength, density, and reduction of falls among the old (8 Benefits of exercising, 2009).
It is appreciable that the reduction of health complications associated with inactivity has a positive effect on the state’s overall economic development. Regular exercises and physical activity reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with inactivity related conditions. Such reduction in mortality and morbidity rates result in a significant boost of the economic growth and development of the state. For example, evidence shows that the U.S. spends approximately $12.6 million annually for providing health care to patients with coronary heart disease, $1.1 million for heart attack, $17 million for diabetes, and $107,000 million for diagnosing and managing colorectal cancer. The statistics show that promoting regular exercise and physical activity among the populations will save a significant amount of expenditure used in the health care system. The economic burden associated with the various health challenges not only affects the state, but the families of the affected. The families often suffer from psychological and financial burden as they struggle to provide for the required care to the affected family member. The challenge becomes more crippling in the developing countries and underdeveloped countries that face greater poverty since it affects the quality of life and lowers the overall economic growth (Benefits of Exercise for your Health, 2013).
Conclusively, regular exercises and physical activity are beneficial to one’s, societal and state’s health. It reduces a variety of health complications that affect the well-being of the society. Regular exercise and physical activity contribute positively to one’s health by reducing the body weight, cardiovascular conditions, mental illnesses, and physical intimacy life of an individual. It also reduces the costs used for the provision of the required health care for the affected alongside reducing the mortality rates caused by conditions predisposed by inactivity. Therefore, every state adopts measures that aim at promoting the development of a physically active population.
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Benefits of Exercise for your Health. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC7qpvhhCL0&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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Medical aspects of exercise: benefits and risks.. (1991). London: Royal College of Physicians of London.
Mitchell, T., Church, T., & Zucker, M. (2008). Move yourself: the Cooper Clinic medical director’s guide to all the healing benefits of exercise (even a little!). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley
Netz, Y. (2009). Type of activity and fitness benefits as moderators of the effect of physical activity on affect in advanced age: a review. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 6(1), 19-27.
Robinson, R. (2000). Benefits and Hazards of Exercise.. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 76(898), 525c-525.
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The Benefits of Physical Activity. (n.d.). The Nutrition Source. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active-full-story/
Young, M. (2010). Indigenous health: The benefits and risks of physical activity. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12, e96.
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