Physical activity refers to any bodily movement results in the energy expenditure including a broad range of occupational, leisure and daily activities.
Physically inactivity is a major underlying risk factor for coronary heart disease. Thus, it is advisable to include consistent physical activity or exercise in your daily routine.
Physical activities and cholesterol
Physical activity can play a major role in the treatment of hyperlipidemia. Also, it reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke. It can also help lower your blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance, and favorably influence cardiovascular function.
More than 30% of adults are not sufficiently physically active in their daily life, and it is continuing to decline. Physical activity is one of the best public health’s “best buys.”
12 Surprising Benefits of Physical Activity
Good evidence suggests simply reducing the sitting time each day reduces death risk independently of other lifestyle factors.
There is incontrovertible evidence that regular physical activity contributes to the prevention of several chronic diseases and reduced risk of premature death.
- Enhances Lipoprotein Profiles – Reduces triglyceride, increases HDL cholesterol, and decreases LDL-to-HDL ratios. Reference: European Journal of Medical Research 1997; 2:259-64. Acta Paediatrica 1994; 83:1258-63.
- Reduce Inflammation - A recent study has shown that exercise training may cause marked reduction in C-reactive protein levels (inflammation marker). Reference: Canadian Medical Association Journal 2005 Apr 26;172(9):1199-209.
- Reduced Cardiovascular Risk - A systematic review revealed an inverse relation between physical activity and the risk of cardiovascular-related death. These protective effects are for as little as 1 hour of walking per week. Reference: American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2004 Jun; 26(5):407-18. The benefits of physical activity and fitness extend to patients with established cardiovascular disease. Regular walking and moderate or heavy gardening were sufficient to achieve this benefit. Reference: Circulation. 2000 Sep 19;102(12):1358-63.
- Type 2 Diabetes - In a large prospective study, each increase of 500 kcal in energy expenditure per week associated with a decreased incidence of type 2 diabetes of 6%. Reference: The New England Journal of Medicine 1991 Jul 18; 325(3):147-52. Physical activity improves insulin action and glucose tolerance in obese individuals. Reference: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 1999;31: S619-23. Physical activity reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes among high-risk people (overweight). Reference: The New England Journal of Medicine 2001 May 3; 344(18):1343-50. Diabetes. 2005 Jan; 54(1):158-65.
- Metabolic Syndrome - physical activity helps to prevent/treat metabolic syndrome. Reference: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2007 Feb;32(1):76-88. Diabetes Care 2010 Jul; 33(7): 1610-1617.
- Reduced Hypertension Risk - There are consistent findings regarding the protective effects of physical activity in the prevention of hypertension. Studies have shown physical activity is inversely associated with hypertension. Reference: Hypertension. 2010 Jul; 56(1):49-55. Blood Press. 2011 Dec; 20(6):362-9. Physical activity has an independent capacity to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Reference: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 1992 May;45(5):439-47.
- Increased Self-Esteem - Physical activity improves psychological well-being through reduced stress, anxiety and depression. Reference: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise June 2001 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - pp S587-S597.
- Good Life Expectancy - It has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. In a study, people who went from unfit to fit in a 5-year period had a reduction of 44% in the relative risk of death. Reference: JAMA. 1995 Apr 12; 273(14):1093-8.
- Supports Healthy Weight – Physical activity helps stay at or get to a healthy weight, and it is an important component of long-term weight control. Reference: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2005 vol. 82 no. 1 226S-229S.
- Protect against Osteoporosis - Routine physical activity can improve musculoskeletal fitness. Thus, improved overall health status and a reduction in the risk of chronic disease and disability. Reference: Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 2001 Apr; 26(2):217-37. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 2001 Apr; 26(2):161-216.
- Improved Sleep Quality - Objectively-measured physical activity associated with several improved self-reported sleep-related parameters. Reference: Mental Health and Physical Activity Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2011, Pages 65–69.
- Cancer Prevention - A series of mechanisms may explain the 46% reduction in cancer rates observed with regular physical activity. Reference: Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis 1997; 8(2-3):219-72.
A Linear relation exists between the volume of physical activity and health status, such that the most physically active people are always healthier.
Increased physical activity results in a reduction in triglyceride, increase in HDL cholesterol, decrease in blood pressure, reduces insulin resistance, improved blood glucose control, better immune function, reduced fat storage, increased energy expenditure, and drop in a free-radical generation.
Share your physical activities with friends and family and make it as fun rather than an exercise.
8 Simple ways to incorporate Physical Activity into your daily routine
Daily physical activity is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. The first obvious step would be the use of stairs instead of lifts and walking & cycling for short distance journeys.
- Take stairs if possible - Increasing the number of steps you take is an obvious first step to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If you have to go up/down a long way, then you may walk the first few floors, then take the elevator for the rest.
- Clean the house/car/utensils – Cleaning is a great workout than what you might think. Cleaning involves plenty of walking, lifting, bending, and stretching. Cleaning work is an easy way to burn some extra calories.
- Gardening & yardwork - Yardwork is great, because it increases your physical activity, also gives you an opportunity to establish a link with nature. Pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge, and raking leaves are all very physically taxing as well as mentally relaxing.
- Family Walk after Dinner - Research has found walking after your dinner, can make wonders for your health. A family walk after dinner improves everyone’s health as well as provide an opportunity to discuss topics and share love.
- Walk if Possible - Walk your children to/from school will help them get physical activity. At work, walk over to see your co-worker instead of contacting them over the phone or emailing. Walk while talking on the phone. Walk the dog don't just watch the dog walk, walk with it. Walk up escalators rather than standing still.
- Do Cycling - If possible, prefer cycling to go to work and market. Enjoy cycling with your kids in the evening; this helps encourage your kids for a healthy lifestyle.
- Play Regularly – Instead of watching TV, encourage and take your child to play. Be active with your child; take them to swimming pool or play in the garden/park. If you are active, then your child will likely to be active too; be an example. If possible, involve the whole family and enjoy playing.
- Dancing – For dancing, all you need is some brisk music tunes, forget about work pressure, and interest to dance. It is a fun dancing with your family, specifically kids.