The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care tells us “physical activity is a key factor in the health and quality of life for [people] of all ages. It is essential for healthy growth and development in childhood: it develops a strong, healthy heart; muscular strength and flexibility, and bone density. [Exercise] also contributes to maintaining healthy weight, building positive self-esteem, and setting healthy habits for life.
In adults, regular physical activity provides almost limitless benefits, including:
- Maintenance of healthy weight.
- Reduced stress levels.
- Relieved symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Increased energy.
- Improved sleep and digestion.
- Improved posture and balance.
- Stronger muscles and bones.
- More confidence and a more positive outlook on life.
- Ability to perform daily tasks with more ease and less fatigue.
- Increased bone density.
- Better circulation.
- Strengthened heart and lungs.
- Improved mood.
- Strengthened immune system.
- Prolonged good health and independence in seniors.
- Better quality of life.
Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of premature death from heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer; reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure; and lowers total blood cholesterol and triglycerides and increases high density lipoproteins (HDL or the “good” cholesterol).”
According to an article written by Laura Landro for the Wall Street Journal, “doctors are working exercise counseling into office visits and calling exercise a ‘vital sign’ to be measured when they take readings like pulse and blood pressure.”
Thank you to the American College of Sports Medicine, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as the Wall Street Journal for providing the quoted information; Ulla Puggaard for creating the illustration; Google and Bing for helping me find the articles and picture; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to use the picture and text I included in this post.