Physical activity, exercise and movement can have a significant impact on your wellness and well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. They report that physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases, and overall is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths globally.
According to World Health Organization, physical activity is a key determinant of energy expenditure and thus is fundamental to energy balance and weight control. Physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer in women. There is even evidence to suggest that increasing levels of various types of physical activity may benefit health by reducing hypertension, osteoporosis and risk of falls, improving body weight and composition and decreasing the incidence of musculo-skeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and low back pain.
Physical exercise also benefits mental and psychological health by reducing depression, anxiety and stress and by increasing control over risky behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, alcohol and other substance abuse, unhealthy diet choices).
The World Health Organization further states, that regular physical activity can improve womens health and help prevent many of the diseases and conditions that are major causes of death and disability for women throughout the world.
Many women suffer from disease processes that are associated with inadequate participation in physical activity such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for one-third of deaths among women globally, and in developing countries they account for half of the deaths among women over the age of 50. Diabetes affects more than 70 million women worldwide, and experts estimate that this number will double by 2025. Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile, is most prevalent among postmenopausal women.
World Health Organization recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days per week to improve and maintain health.
The 30 minutes can be accumulated over the course of a day in blocks as short as 10 minutes.
We tend to think of exercise as running, playing a sport, swimming, using workout equipment or some other activity that requires extensive physical exertion. There are other options which have a benefit, including walking, low-impact exercise or other mild fitness practices.
Incorporate additional physical activity or exercise and movement into your routine and see what you notice. How does your body react? What changes do you note in your thinking, emotions and mood? How does it affect your sleeping? What effect does it have on any symptoms you may have been experiencing? What changes does it make in how you handle stress? Physical activity, exercise and movement are available to you to promote the natural healing of your body, and you are empowered right now to use them if you choose.