Why is physical activity important

Why is physical activity important?

Table of Contents

  • 1 We always hear that it is important to do physical activity, that you should walk 30 minutes a day … but why?
    • 1.1 What we understand by physical activity.
    • 1.2 Why practice it?
    • 1.3 How much is enough?
    • 1.4 When the goal is to lose weight

We always hear that it is important to do physical activity, that you should walk 30 minutes a day … but why?

What do we understand by physical activity.

First of all, let’s make the difference between being active and practicing physical activity clear. Many patients tell me things like “yes, I do physical activity every day: I walk to work, I go to the park with the children in the afternoon, and I use the stairs instead of the elevator.” That is not practicing physical activity. That is being an active and moving person. That expense enters into our day to day, our daily caloric expenditure.

I always ask a question to identify whether or not the person practices physical activity: “Do you put on your sports shoes and do you dress in comfortable and suitable clothing for the practice?” If the answer is yes, we can say that he practices it. If the answer is no, I am sorry to tell you that it does not count as physical activity. Whatever that activity is: walking, running, playing paddle tennis, getting on a bike … it will only count as physical activity, additional and extra caloric expenditure when we dress for the occasion. In this way there would be a big difference between taking the dog out and having the dog accompany us for a walk or run.

Point and part would be the issue of practicing sports, competing or playing in leagues, in those cases, it is a much more specific activity, which requires sacrifice and perseverance and for which a very specific and personalized dietary guideline must be followed.

Why practice it?

The main objective of practicing physical activity is to stay active, have energy and strength, desire to do things, a good mood … The truth is that physical activity has innumerable benefits such as:

  • Reduces the risk of suffering from: cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes.
  • Helps control overweight, obesity, and body fat percentage.
  • Strengthens bones, increasing bone density.
  • Strengthens muscles and improves the ability to exert yourself without fatigue (fitness).
  • Improves mood and lowers the risk of stress, anxiety and depression; increases self-esteem and provides psychological well-being.
  • Encourage sociability.
  • Increases autonomy and social integration.

Practicing it daily we will be able to maintain and increase our lean mass, muscle mass. Muscle mass is important because it is the active mass of the body, the one that “burns the calories” and the one that gives us strength. The greater the amount of muscle, the higher the basal metabolism, that is, the more calories we burn at rest increase. Also with age, as we get older, we lose this muscle and we become weak and lazy. So that this does not happen, we must make a prevention and start moving as soon as possible. Because if we intend to generate it when we are 50 or 60 years old, we will have great difficulties. The older the more difficult and against the weaker we are.

This is like a fish biting its tail: I am weak, so I do not do any physical activity, so I lose more muscle mass, so I am weaker and start over. It should be treated like food: a new habit, a new way of life, and a much healthier lifestyle. It also happens again as with food, once you start, it is your own body that asks for it.

How much is enough?

You will see, each one has to do it in a personalized way, within their possibilities. We cannot ask a person with obesity to go out for a run, as this person is not trained to do so due to their excess weight. However, you could go for a 10-minute walk a day. Probably a month, you will be in the mood to increase and go out 20 minutes, also you have probably lost weight and have much more facilities for it. So each one must do what they can and gradually increase. The important thing is to be constant. Also, you don’t even need to leave the house, if you don’t want to, you can do routines inside the home, with bottles of water or bags of potatoes. Soon you will have a course available on the subject at the academy .

It is also true that we should not go out alone for a walk, but combine it with strength exercises: gym or personal training, crossfit, calisthenics, exercises with rubber bands or dumbbells at home, … so that at the same time we lose fat, we gain muscle.

When the goal is to lose weight

If our goal is to lose weight,  we must do the same  combination of resistance and strength.  Why?

It is estimated that a sedentary person can lose one kilo of muscle mass each year after the age of 35. If you also gain a kilo of fat each year, by the end you can be 55 years old and, weighing the same, be a mess. This is a problem because, as I said before, this muscle mass is especially active, expending energy and consuming fuel (both the food that enters and the fat that we have accumulated), so gaining weight over the years unfortunately becomes easy. . In addition, fat tissue takes up more space than muscle tissue (approximately 15%), which aesthetically makes it more volume / size when you have more fat but not when you are stronger. This means that if you train, you look much better even if the number on the scale does not drop.

The problem is that to maintain muscle throughout life, you have to stimulate and exercise it (with strength exercises) and if we also want to lose fat (to lose weight healthily) we must combine it with resistance exercises, but unfortunately, sedentary lifestyle goes on the rise, hand in hand with overweight and obesity. It is another eternal fight.

So, while we go for a walk or run we must do strength exercises that are not unpleasant for us: gym or personal training, crossfit, calisthenics, exercises with rubber bands or dumbbells at home … I insist that you will have a course soon at the academy with a 10-week plan that combines both activities to lose weight.

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