The importance of an active lifestyle

For the last 15 years, we have been told that a healthy lifestyle is important. Scientists recommend that we should accumulate an average of 60 minutes of exercise per day to maintain healthy levels. What exactly does that number mean? Over the course of a typical day, we should be doing some kind of physical activity that adds up to about 60 minutes. Whether it’s at the gym on the treadmill or just out in the garden in the afternoon, adding physical activity is vital.

First we need to know what actually constitutes exercise. The term healthy activity can be divided into three categories; Cardiovascular, Resistance and Flexibility.

cardio workout

It is recommended to do cardio 2 or 3 times a week. Depending on your fitness level, cardiovascular exercise can consist of a leisurely walk with your dog or a vigorous run on the treadmill. Ideally, you’re trying to increase your cardiovascular fitness. which has many health benefits.

Endurance training

Part of living an active lifestyle is doing some type of resistance training at least 2 times a week. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and lift weights, you can easily do it at home by doing movements as simple as push-ups and sit-ups, or by using resistance bands. Resistance training is just as important as cardiovascular activity and adds to your overall physical health.

Flexibility (stretch)

After exercising, it is recommended to stretch for about 10 minutes, holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Stretching is crucial to maintaining flexibility and reducing the chance of exercise injury.

Benefits of exercise

We now know that exercise is important, but what are the real benefits of leading an active lifestyle? Below are just 5 of the myriad benefits of being active.

Reduces the risk of dying prematurely: Those who lead a healthy and active lifestyle live longer compared to those who are more sedentary.

Reduces the risk of developing diabetes: exercise keeps body fat under control and helps regulate blood sugar levels

Increase muscle strength – Having an increase in strength helps make daily activities less difficult.

Helps reduce the risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens the heart, respiratory system, and lungs, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Decreases body fat: Exercise along with a balanced diet will significantly reduce body fat.

As you can see, there are many great benefits to leading an active lifestyle. By adding a small amount of cardio, resistance training, and some stretching to your daily routine, the overall benefits are nearly endless. Essentially, being healthy is about adding balance to your life. You don’t have to be a Lance Armstrong or a Venus Williams to be considered active, you just have to add a few extra activities to your routine.

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