25 Jan 2017
Mental Health And Well-being
Physical activity has an important role to play in promoting mental health and well-being by preventing mental health problems and improving the quality of life of those experiencing mental health problems and illnesses.
For example, evidence shows that physical activity can reduce the risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. It also shows that physical activity can enhance psychological well-being, by improving self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and by reducing levels of anxiety and fatigue.
Moderate intensity activity stimulates the body’s cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and metabolic systems and, over time, causes them to adaptand become more efficient. People can tell when their activity is moderate intensity because they will breathe faster, experience an increase in heart rate and feel warmer. They may even sweat on hot or humid days. The amount of activity needed to reach this varies from one person to another. And unfit or overweight person may only have to walk up a slope, whereas a very fit athlete may be able to run quite fast before he or she notices these signs. Over time, a person’s fitness level will improve so that in walking, for example, focusing on the perceived effort to reach moderate intensity may mean that their speed increases. Vigorous intensity activity can bring health benefits over and above moderate intensity. A person who is doing vigorous intensity activity will usually be breathing very hard, be short of breath, have a rapid heartbeat and not be able to carry on a conversation comfortably.
Muscle strengthening activity
Training with weights (or body weight), where the body’s muscles work or hold against an applied force or weight, can also bring about health benefits and should be promoted across the age ranges. Muscle strengthening activity should work all the large muscle groups of the body. Higher amounts of activity can improve muscle function to a greater degree. There is good evidence for the health benefits of muscle strengthening activities, including the maintenance of functional ability, the stimulation of bone formation and a reduction in bone loss.
The evidence also supports the beneficial effect of this type of activity on glucose metabolism and blood pressure.
MyFitZone can help you to get the physical activity that you require through weekly programmes.