Why Is Exercise Important?

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Exercise is important to ensure that your body is strong and healthy enough meet the challenges that you set for it.

Exercise has a multitude of positive effects on your body, including:

  1. Improved heart and lung efficiency, reducing your chances of developing heart disease.
  2. Increased metabolic function, enabling you to maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Strong joints and muscles, so you can meet the demands of daily life.
  4. Maintenance of posture and flexibility, to keep you walking tall.
  5. Production of endorphins in your brain, promoting a sense of well being.
  6. There is also research emerging that indicates that exercise can increase brain function.

Doing exercise improves your overall level of health and fitness.

If you want a healthy body then it needs to be maintained. If you don’t maintain your car, there is an increased possibility that it will stop working. Similarly, if you don’t exercise your body, it will slowly stop working the way that you want it to.

Taking regular exercising will help you to maintain your health, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. To stay healthy be active.

Benefits of regular physical activity

If you are regularly physically active, you may:

  • reduce your risk of a heart attack
  • manage your weight better
  • have a lower blood cholesterol level
  • lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • have lower blood pressure
  • have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower the risk of osteoporosis
  • lower your risk of falls
  • recover better from period of hospitalisation or bed rest
  • feel better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.

A healthier state of mind

A number of studies have found that exercise helps depression. There are many views as to how exercise helps people with depression. Exercise may block negative thoughts or distract people from daily worries.

Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact. Increased fitness may lift your mood and improve sleep patterns. Exercise may also change levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones.

Aim for at least 30 minutes a day

To maintain health and reduce your risk of health problems, health professionals and researchers recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.

Physical Activity Guidelines

The Australian Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines state that:

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

Ways to increase activity

Increases in daily activity can come from small changes made throughout your day, such as walking or cycling instead of using the car, getting off a tram, train or bus a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, or walking the children to school.

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