Physical Activity and Health Benefits

In this post, you are going to know more about physical activity and its health benefits, health-related physical fitness and skill-related physical fitness, physical inactivity and the global burden of chronic diseases, etc.

Physical Activity and Physical Fitness

Physical activity includes any bodily movement produced by the neuromusculoskeletal system that results in an energy increase over resting metabolic rate (RMR). Generally, total daily energy expenditure is defined by RMR (represents basal metabolic rate or BMR+ maintenance activity) + physical activity (exercise activity + non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT) + thermic effect of feeding or TEF. Exercise and athletic training, leisure-time physical activity, occupational work, chores and any other daily movements are under this broad concept of physical activity. 

Physical Activity and Health Benefits

There are two types of physical fitness 1) Health-Related Physical Fitness, 2) and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Health-related physical fitness components are body composition, proper movement patterns, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiorespiratory fitness. On the other hand, athletic ability (skill-related or performance-related) physical fitness components are such as reaction time, agility, speed, power, coordination and balance.

Body Composition

Body composition refers to the relative percentage of body weight that is fat and fat-free tissue. 

Proper Movement Patterns and Flexibility (Functional Efficiency)

Proper movement patterns (functional efficiency) refer to the ability of the neuromusculoskeletal system to recruits correct muscle synergies, at the right time, with the appropriate force to perform a movement and the least amount of energy and stress on the body. Flexibility, a part of the proper moment pattern, is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion. 

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength refers to the maximal force that a specific muscle or a group of muscles can generate. 

Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance refers to the ability of a group of muscles to perform repeated contractions over a period of time sufficient to cause muscular fatigue, or maintain a specific percentage of the maximum voluntary contraction of muscle groups for a prolonged period of time. 

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness is related to the ability of the human body to perform functional movements and moderate-to-high intensity exercise for prolonged periods. 

From the perspective of public health, improving health-related physical fitness is more important than skill-related physical fitness. In general, everyone can improve one’s physical fitness by adding physical activity in their lives. 

Physical Activity and Chronic Diseases

A host of medical conditions associated with inactivity have become manifest in the lives of people since physical activity diminished in industrialized societies over the past century. 

Chronic diseases account for a high majority 56 million people died from the global burden of disease in 2017. Chronic diseases are one of the considerable public health burdens today. Cardiovascular diseases and cancers are respectively the leading causes of death globally. Diabetes and obesity are also on the rise. While the physical and social environment and genetic differences contribute in varying degrees to the burden of chronic diseases, physical activity or lack of it, good nutrition, and self-knowing are also related closely to most chronic diseases.

Annual Number of Deaths by Cause | Exercise & Health Coaching

This chart shows the breakdown of global deaths by cause, given as the share of annual deaths, rather than the absolute number.

Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is proved that humans are better off when they maintain a physically active lifestyle. For this reason, physical activity and exercise have occupied a central place in preventive medicine, longevity, performance, body composition, and the public health program.

  • In general, everyone can improve their health, performance and body composition by adding moderate amounts of physical activity in their daily lives. 
  • Additional benefits may be gained by further increases in physical activity levels for those who have already had a moderately active lifestyle. 
  • Physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases and undesired health outcomes. 

The Bottom Line

The human body’s anatomy and physiology systems can function and adapt well to a wide range of physical demands over a wide range of metabolic rates. So, the body is well organized to perform physical activity and exercise programs if designed well. On the other hand, a low level of physical activity and sedentary life has been associated with a poor health profile, bad performance, and early death. For this reason, physical activity, as well as good nutrition, good movements, and self-knowing are the most important things in one’s life. 

Note that not only physical inactivity and sedentary life but as well as inadequate nutrition, poor physiological fitness, movement impairment syndromes, and lack of understanding oneself are the risk factors to health and the total amount of energy in the body. 

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