Insufficient physical activity occupies the 4th place on the list of pathogens developed by the World Health Organization which leads to premature death.
Physical activity reduces the risk of diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer), depression, and the risk of falls. Regular exercise improves bone and functional health and is a key determinant of energy expenditure, and is also important to energy balance and weight control.
Are you looking for a recipe for longevity? Exercise increases the amount of oxygen and glucose that reaches the brain, improves the vascular functions of the carotid artery, increases the production of the cerebro-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), improves the metabolism of neurons, stimulates the production of endorphins and serotonin, decreases the cortisol levels, helps prevent and treat diabetes, rejuvenates DNA and genes. Also, new neuronal cells are created through aerobic exercise and “strength-building”. This process is called neurogenesis, by which new neurons are formed in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, a section of the brain.
How much exercise should we do and what activity is best to achieve the healing properties of sport? Here you find recommendations issued by WHO for specific age groups:
- Young people aged 5–17 should practice at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. More than 60 minutes of physical activity a day brings additional health benefits.
- Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity. In order to be beneficial for cardio-respiratory health, all activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration. In addition to that, they should add at least two sessions per week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups.
- Adults aged 65 and above – the main recommendations for adults and older adults are the same. In addition, older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls 3 or more days per week. When older adults cannot do the recommended amount of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Are you wondering if your exercise is vigorous enough? The Mayo Clinic reveals “exactly” how to test if your exercise in this regard – go to the article.
Just start: sport, movement, exercise! You will feel better, have more energy, sleep better, and improve your concentration. Your immunity will increase and you will live longer. Many years longer. You will become younger in a biological sense. Your heart will strengthen and new cells will form in your brain.