Many people are motivated to engage in sport and physical activity by the prospect of weight loss and/or an increase in fitness levels. The truth is, there is so much more to be gained. Here are our top 10 reasons to #BeActive:
- Reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer. This is no joke – the top 10 killers in the 50 highest-income countries are all connected to lack of physical activity
- Strengthen your bones… Physical activity slows the loss of bone density that comes with age. This is particularly important for women, who are most likely to suffer from osteoporosis.
- Support lung function… By exercising regularly your body becomes better at loading, transporting and utilising oxygen. Breathe on.
- Energy supercharge… It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you are feeling tired all the time, try exercise. It helps boost energy levels and reduce fatigue.
- Don’t worry, be happy… You know that feeling you get after a workout, swim or long walk? That’s from the endorphins released through exercise, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Exercise can also help alleviate feelings of depression.
- Self-confidence boost… Studies have shown increased self-esteem in those who exercise regularly. It also turns out that if you exercise outdoors, you’ll get an even bigger boost.
- Your moment of Zen… Exercise reduces stress, anxiety and tension. Physical activity increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress.
- Creativity surge… Physical activity has been shown to boost creativity for a few hours. So think about squeezing a workout in during your lunch break if you have an important creative project to work on in the afternoon.
- Sweet dreams… Regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – just don’t exercise too close to bedtime or the energy boost will keep you awake!
- Brain power… Exercise sharpens your memory, concentration and brain power. Who doesn’t want a bit more of that?
So, you see, it’s about so much more than weight loss and a fit body. The benefits of participating in sport and physical activity are innumerable – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Watch this space to find out more and join the #MyWeek #BeActive Challenge.
There is a high chance that you are reading this blog while sitting down. In fact, statistically speaking, you will likely spend 5 to 6 hours seated today – and not nearly enough time being physically active or engaging in sport. According to a recent Eurobarometer, 59% of Europeans never or seldom exercise or play sport, and 74% are not members of any sport clubs. More alarming is that children are 50% less active by the age of 15 than they were at the age of 9… The facts are clear: people have become less active and are leading more sedentary lives. We sit more, we choose less active commutes, we work in jobs that require little or no physical activity, we shop online – you get the picture…
There’s a serious side to all this: increasing rates of inactivity are having a really negative impact on people’s health. The scientific community and other experts have raised the alarm. They’re calling sitting the ‘new smoking’ and highlighting the risks to health of today’s sedentary lifestyles. And it doesn’t just affect individuals: our society and economy as a whole take a hit, through increased spending on health care, a loss of productivity in the workplace, reduced employability and more…
But it’s not all bad news! There is a way to reverse the trend.
The European Commission is launching the first annual European Week of Sport to encourage, challenge and inspire Europeans to integrate more sport and physical activity into their daily lives. Everyone across Europe has an important role to play in transforming our culture of inactivity into one that values physical activity and sport. It takes decision-makers and employers, local authorities and urban planners, parents and teachers, employees and students to get engaged and support each other in building healthy and more active communities, cities and lifestyles.
And you can find out how here…
We hope you’ll be a part of our #BeActive online community. Tell us how you are staying physically active – even just the simple things, like taking the stairs or getting off the train to work one stop early. And how can you inspire others to be more active? Take a look at the rest of the website to learn more about the European Week of Sport. Keep an eye on the blog. Follow us on social media… We’ll be sharing tips on how to be more active, interviews with inspiring people, and lots lots more. There will even be opportunities for you to get engaged and win prizes!
We’re starting a movement. Be part of it. #BeActive