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How Physical Activity Can Improve Overall Health and Personal Development

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How Physical Activity Can Improve Overall Health and Personal Development

How Physical Activity can Improve Overall Health and Personal Development

Benefits Of Physical Activity

The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management. Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. Regular physical activity can help protect you from the following health problems.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity. Optimizing each of these factors can provide additional benefits of decreasing the risk for Peripheral Vascular Disease.

High Blood Pressure

Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity reduces body fat, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes

By reducing body fat, physical activity can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.

Obesity

Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body's ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

Back Pain

By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Osteoporosis

Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.

Disability

Running and aerobic exercise have been shown to postpone the development of disability in older adults.

Stress and anxiety management

Exercise may serve as an effective tranquilizer. Studies in adults indicate that 30 min of aerobic exercise reduces muscle tension by as much as does a dose of 400 mg of meprobamate. The tension reduction induced by exercise lasts for 4 to 6 h in adults. The level and intensity of exercise may be important.

Depression

Depression among Canadian children aged 12 to 17 years is common. The incidence, unfortunately, is on an upward trend. Psychological function is influenced strongly by blood levels of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. Depression has been associated with a depletion of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Physical exercise increases the levels of central nervous system neurotransmitters. Studies in older teenagers tend to support the benefits of physical activity in treating adolescent depression. Improvement in depression scores was also shown when aerobic exercise programs were used in college students.

ADHD and Learning Disorders

A regular jogging program over 10 to 22 weeks has been shown to reduce the need for stimulant medication in children with ADHD. The theory behind this observation holds that increased motor activity resulting from physical exertion substitutes for the stimulant effects of medication. There is, however, uncertainty as to the duration of benefits derived from physical activity. Similar studies in children with autism also showed a decrease in self-stimulatory behaviour following physical activity, but there was no improvement in social function.

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