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Campus Recreation > Fitness & Wellness > Wellness > Articles

Why is Physical Activity Important?

by Jill Isabelle (Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness)

Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical active you are, the greater the health benefits.

Being physically active can help you:

  1. Increase your chances of living longer
  2. Feel better about yourself
  3. Decrease your chances of becoming depressed
  4. Sleep well at night
  5. Move around more easily
  6. Have stronger muscles and bones
  7. Stay at or get to a healthy weight
  8. Increase your self confidence
  9. Enjoy yourself and have fun!
  10. When you are NOT physically active, you are more likely to suffer from:
  11. Heart disease
  12. Type 2 diabetes
  13. High blood pressure
  14. High blood cholesterol
  15. Increased risk of stroke

Some types of physical activity are especially beneficial. Cardiovascular activities increase your lung capacity and strengthen your heart. Cardiovascular activities vary in intensity. During moderate activities, you can talk while you do them, but you can’t sing. During vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger. These include activities like push-ups and lifting weights. It is important to work all the different parts of the body – the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms.

Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger. Bone-strengthening activities, like jumping, are especially important for children and adolescents. These activities produce a force on the bones that promote bone growth and strength.

Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduce your risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and t’ai chi.