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.