Physical Activity for Health

You have probably heard by now that physical activity is good for you. Well, the news in favor of regular physical activity keeps coming in! An active lifestyle can lower your risk of early death from a lot of causes.
Physical Activity
There is strong evidence that regular physical activity can also lower your risk of:
• Heart disease
• Stroke
• High blood pressure
• Unhealthy cholesterol levels
• Type 2 diabetes
• Metabolic syndrome
• Colon cancer
• Breast cancer
• Falls
• Depression

What is metabolic syndrome?

"Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. These conditions are
• High blood pressure
• High blood glucose levels
• High levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood
• Low levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, in your blood
• Too much fat around your waist"
Regular activity can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight. It can also improve your cardio-respiratory (heart, lungs, and blood vessels) and muscular fitness. For older adults, activity can improve mental function.
It’s never too late to begin physical activity. If you haven’t been active for a while, though, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Physical activity may also help:

• Improve functional health for older adults (your health related quality of life)
• Reduce waistline size
• Lower risk of hip fracture
• Lower risk of lung cancer
• Lower risk of endometrial cancer
• Keep a healthy weight
• Increase bone density, which can lower your risk of bone loss
• Improve sleep quality

So what do you need to do to be active?

Health benefits are gained by doing the following each week:
• 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity
or
• 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
or
• A combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
and
• Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days (like working out with hand weights)
You can gain even more benefits by boosting activity to 5 hours of moderate-intensity or 2 hours and 30 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
Examples of moderate and vigorous physical activities
For Leisure Activities...
Moderate activities: Walking at a brisk pace,
ballroom dancing, leisurely bicycling, roller skating, canoeing.
Vigorous activities: Jogging, running, bicycling fast or uphill, jumping rope, swimming and continuous laps.
For Sports...
Moderate activities: Golfing, softball, bad-
minton, downhill skiing, and Frisbee playing.
Vigorous activities: Singles tennis, beach
volleyball on sand, basketball game, soccer, and cross-country skiing.
For Activities at home...
Moderate activities: Pushing a power lawn
mower, gardening, raking leaves, shoveling light snow, moderate house-work, hand washing/waxing a car, actively playing with children, and riding a stationary bike.
Vigorous activities: Pushing a hand mower, heavy or rapid shoveling (more than 10
pounds per minute), and carrying items weighing 25 pounds or more up a flight of stairs.
For Activities at work...
Moderate activities: Maid service, waiting
tables, feeding or grooming farm animals, manually milking cows, picking fruits or vegetables, and walking while carrying a mailbag.
Vigorous activities: Teaching an aerobic
dance class, heavy farm work

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