April Is National Move More Month

Initiated by the American Heart Association, National Move More Month promotes the benefits of physical activity while raising awareness on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. This article will discuss the advantages of getting regular physical activity and provide helpful tips on achieving overall well-being.

The Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Keeping physically active helps boost both bodily and mental health. You will notice some positive effects almost immediately while experiencing additional benefits throughout your life.

Immediate Benefits

A single bout of moderate-to vigorous physical activity provides immediate benefits for your health.

  1. Sleep
    – Improves sleep quality
  2. Less Anxiety
    – Reduces feelings of anxiety
  3. Blood Pressure
    – Reduces blood pressure

Long-term Benefits

Regular physical activity provides important health benefits for chronic disease prevention.

  1. Brain Health
    – Reduces risks of developing dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and reduces risk of depression
  2. Heart Health
    – Lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
  3. Cancer Prevention
    -Lowers risk of eight cancers: bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach
  4. Healthy Weight
    – Reduces risk of weight gain
  5. Bone Strength
    – Improves bone health
  6. Balance and Coordination
    – Reduces risks of falls

CDC

woman having a good sleep in bed
senior female marathon runner

Weight Management

Looking to get to or stay at a healthy weight? Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in maintaining a healthy body weight, losing excess body weight, or maintaining successful weight loss. You gain weight when you consume more calories through eating and drinking than the amount of calories you burn, including those burned during physical activity. It’s important to balance calories. When it comes to weight management, people vary greatly in how much physical activity they need. You may need to be more active than others to reach or maintain a healthy weight.

To maintain your weight: Work your way up to 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week). Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time. However, the exact amount of physical activity needed to do this is not clear since it varies greatly from person to person. It’s possible that you may need to do more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to maintain your weight.

To lose weight and keep it off: You will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you’re eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan.

senior woman practicing ballet dance

Which Physical Activities Are Right for Me?

The physical activities that will be most beneficial to your health depend on a range of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Age
  • Genetic factors
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination and balance

Some moderate-intensity physical activities you may wish to consider include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling

Even activities such as dancing and gardening will burn calories and work as a moderate-intensity workout.

 
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