Why is physical activity important? In today’s superficial society looks are everything. It seems that everyone is desperate to be tan and toned and will go to extremes to get there. However being physically fit and active is more than meets the eye. There are numerous mental and physical benefits to being physical active.
When you are involved in physical activity and are making your body do more than pick up the remote, blood vessels to your muscles dilate causing an increase in oxygen and blood flow. At the same time, your metabolic rate is increased which gives you a feeling of increased energy. The good thing about this is that it is not just a momentary burst of energy during your workout but lasts well after your workout.
During a workout or physical activity, the hormone epinephrine, adrenaline, is increased. This hormone is responsible for blood flow that in turn supplies the brain with oxygen making you more alert. Being alert makes you aware of your surroundings and helps deal with stress more efficiently and effectively. Endorphins also known as “feel good hormones” are released as well as adrenaline, which improves mood and feeling which in most counters the feeling of stress.
-Decreased Risk of Illness
Exercise is known to improve circulation of white blood cells, which are used to fight of harmful bacteria. Because of this, we are able to more efficiently prevent illness. However when we do get sick, because of the increased circulation of blood cells, we are able to more efficiently become well again.
-Improve Physical Appearance
Along with a healthy diet, increased physical activity expends energy and burns fat. Burning excess fat and unwanted “baggage” increases not only our health, but is the most effective way to achieve the physical goals you are striving for. With that being said, weight loss is not the only way to improve your physical appearance. A well designed strength training program also improves muscle definition, even without weight loss. And for those that are worried about resistance training making them bulky, most introductory resistance training programs will improve strength and definition, without adding a great deal of muscle size. However, the intensity of strength training will determine the amount of gains in muscle size and definition.
There are countless benefits to working out and becoming more physically active, many of the psychological benefits are not well known. It doesn’t matter if it is hitting the gym for an hour, playing a game of pick-up basketball, or even walking the dog, anything is better than nothing. With dedication and motivation, anyone can achieve the goals they are striving to achieve.