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:
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.