United Healthcare Activate for Kids

School Wellness Initiative

A few reasons why you should be physically active

A few reasons why you should be physically active

I love stepping in to the gym during the first few days of January. Machines that were previously empty are now completely occupied, all exercise classes are full (often with a waiting list), and the usually abandoned areas of free weights and core equipment (stability ball, BOSU, medicine balls) are full of people. Then you step outside for a run or a bike ride and meet people you haven’t seen for a year. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to see all the new gym members getting their sweat on. J  However, by the time we get to the end of January this trend usually slows down, and by March the gym is almost back to its pre-New Year state. This is where I believe some people may have the wrong idea about exercise; it’s not just good for you to get into “beach shape”, but should be used as a part of your healthy lifestyle.

Most of the benefits of regular physical activity are known to us by now. Many of us know that regular physical activity can result in:
  • Weight loss
  • Lower risk for cardiovascular diseases
  • Lower risk for some cancers
  • Lower risk for diabetes type 2
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • A longer life expectancy
Nonetheless, are you aware of the mental health benefits that you can get from exercising? Regular exercise can actually help control depression and improve your thinking and judgment skills. Even better, physical activity does not have to be structured exercise sessions – every little bit helps.

For example, this week I have had some challenges coming up with good ideas for the blog. In addition, I found myself struggling with some other school related assignments. I usually think clearly after working out or during my long swim and bike sessions. This week however, I have had difficulty reaching that relaxed state of mind. Anyway, this afternoon I needed to go to the store for a few things. Lucky for me, our closest convenience store is only ½ mile away, so I loaded up my 3 year old in the stroller and walked over. I can honestly tell you that by the time I made it home, all my assignments seemed clear to me, and I even got new ideas for upcoming projects.

So, the point to this story is that even lower levels of physical activity can give you some of the great benefits of exercise. In other words:

Get moving - get smarter!  J

Jessica
Posted: February 05, 2013 by Melodie Griffin


Melodie Griffin

Read Bio