How to Improve Your Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Jenna Ahlschlager, ACE-CHC

Updated February 25, 2020

Most people are well aware getting regular physical activity is crucial to improving and maintaining health; however, more than one-third of adults in the United States remain obese and 1 in 4 people die from heart disease each year. So why are we still so unhealthy?

A huge factor among those hesitant to increase their level of physical activity is fear of injury, but the fact is this: the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt.

Here are the top health benefits of participating in regular physical activity:

Engaging in physical activityControl Your Weight: Strong evidence points towards physical activity helping you maintain weight over time. Staying at a healthy weight requires regular physical activity and healthy eating.
Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Regular physical activity has been shown to decrease blood pressure and improve your cholesterol.
Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Just 120 to 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise can decrease your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as Metabolic Syndrome.
Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers: More specifically, being physically active lowers the risk of developing two types of cancers: breast cancer and colon cancer.
Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles: Protecting our bones and muscles becomes increasingly important, especially as we age.
Improve Your Mental Health and Mood: It has been proven regular physical activity can keep your thinking, learning and judgement skills sharp, as well as reduce the risk of depression and help you sleep better.
Live Longer: Those who are physically active for an average of 7 hours per week have a significantly lower risk of dying early– about 40% lower!

While this list is not all inclusive, the benefits are significant. Participating in regular physical activity is crucial for improving and maintaining health, no matter your age, gender, shape or size.

We Can Help

If you are having trouble determining an activity plan right for you, contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment with a peer coach or counselor. Your well being depends on it!

Call VITAL WorkLife anytime, day or night, for the support you and your loved ones need.

  • EAP members call 800.383.1908
  • Physician/Provider Well Being Resources members call 877.731.3949

Source: CDC

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