An active lifestyle is so critically important for a holistic approach to overall wellness, and it was a challenge to select just ten benefits. It doesn’t matter where you live or how much money you choose to spend on your active lifestyle choices. There are literally thousands of ways to make your life more active.
Pursuing an active lifestyle does not mean that you have to compete in sports or be in perfect shape.
- An active lifestyle means that you love yourself enough to put time and energy into your health.
- Being active provides many physical benefits, and research supports that an active lifestyle improves many aspects of mental and social well-being.
Here are ten benefits of an active lifestyle:
1. Improves Heart Health
- By getting in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity in a week, you can lower your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, and improve your cholesterol levels. A healthy heart is an active heart.
2. Improves Mental Health
- Research shows that regular physical activity can help to even out our moods, relax our minds, and ease the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
3. Broadens your Social Circle
- By engaging in the many different physical activities available in your community, you meet new people and become a part of your neighborhood. Engaging in social activities is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
4. Promotes Independent Aging
- We live longer than ever, and most of us want to live independently, aging in our own homes with a minimum of supports.
- If this is your goal, it’s crucial you are physically active.
- By being active, you can keep your body healthy enough to continue daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, housekeeping, and other tasks we often take for granted.
5. Improves Thinking
- Research shows that “regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.”
- Our brain health is improved by moderate to vigorous activity, which means better performance at work and more independent aging.
6. Better Body Composition
- Discuss your body composition with your health care team.
- You can also do a few simple measurements to determine where you fall on the Body Mass Index by taking your weight and height measurements.
- It’s also a great idea to see where your waist to hip ratio falls on the scale. By including regular activity, a healthy diet, and other wellness activities into your lifestyle, you can improve your body composition.
7. Stronger Bones, Stronger Muscles
- Our bones and muscles move us through our day, so it’s essential to keep them healthy and robust, particularly as we age.
- If you want to maintain your independence as an older adult, you must exercise regularly to have a body that can support this independence.
- Exercise can help minimize bone loss, risk of falls, reduce arthritis symptoms, and help us complete our daily living activities.
8. Lowered Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
- Heart disease and diabetes are a leading cause of death, and regular activity can help you avoid these diseases.
- By exercising on more days of the week than not, you can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
9. Better Sleep
- While the science is not yet fully understood, research shows that physical activity improves our sleep, particularly our energizing deep sleep.
- Individuals that suffer from insomnia report that aerobic exercise decreases their complaints about sleep.
10. Lowered Risk of Some Cancers
- Research suggests that active adults can lower their risk of developing several cancers, such as cancers in the breasts, kidneys, lungs, stomach, and bladder.
- These are common cancers, so being regularly active should be an integral part of your healthy lifestyle.
If you are not active now, that means you are sedentary. Being sedentary poses significant risks to your health, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s so easy to get active right away. The choice to be more active today is not complicated and is entirely within your reach.