If we could package the benefits of physical activity in pill form, it would be a miracle drug, yet less than half- only 44% of North Carolinians get the recommended amounts of physical activity.
There are many health benefits of physical activity.
Regular physical activity can help you:
- Control your weight (Lose weight and/or maintain weight)
- Reduce your risk of heart disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes (or help you control your blood sugar levels if you already have type 2 diabetes)
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Reduce your risk of Osteoporosis
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Sleep better
- Reduce your risk of depression
- Manage Stress
- Improve Self Esteem
- Keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
There are three types of physical activity:
- Aerobic or Cardiovascular Activity: the ability of the body’s heart and lungs to supply fuel to your body during sustained physical activity. Examples of exercises that increase aerobic fitness are swimming, biking and walking.
- Muscle Building or Strength Building Activities: is the ability of the muscles to exert force during an activity and continue to perform without fatigue. Examples of exercises that increase muscular strength and endurance are lifting weights and doing push-ups.
- Flexibility Activities: is the ability of the joints to move through a range of motion, for example reaching to get something off the top shelf or bending down to pick something up.