Physical activity is important, no matter what shape you’re in
No matter your size or age, physical activity can be incorporated into your lifestyle.
You may think that you don’t have time for physical activity or maybe you just haven’t started because exercise is hard. Michigan State University Extension says that it’s important to get physical activity no matter what shape you’re in and there’s no time like the present to get start.
You need to start with where you’re at. If you’re 10, 25 or 78 you can benefit from physical activity. The more physical activity you do and the more regular your activity is, the greater the benefits.
ChooseMyPlate.gov lists benefits like living longer, feeling good about yourself, better sleep, healthy or healthier weight, stronger muscles and bones. If you choose not to get moving, then your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and stroke increase. It’s true that your genetics play a role in some health concerns, but physical activity can help to decrease your symptoms and reduce your risk.
Different types of physical activity are important, according to ChooseMyPlate.gov :
- Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity. Vigorous activities take more effort than moderate ones. For moderate activities, you can talk while you do them, but you can’t sing. For vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.
- Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger. These include activities like push-ups and lifting weights. It is important to work all the different parts of the body - your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders and arms.
- Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger. Bone strengthening activities, like jumping, are especially important for children and adolescents. These activities produce a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength.
- Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduces risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts and t’ai chi.
It may be easier to get yourself moving if you choose the type of activity you feel most comfortable doing and move on from there to others. The most important point is that it’s better to start now rather than later. Choose somewhere, anywhere to start. Just get started.