Physical health benefits


As well as improving your overall physical fitness, being more active can have the following physical benefits:

Reduced risk of some diseases. For example, health experts suggest that being more active can reduce your risk of developing a stroke or heart disease by 10%, and type 2 diabetes by 30–40%. Reduced risk of physical health problems as our bodies adapt to stress. As we become fitter, our bodies can better regulate our cortisol levels. Cortisol is a ‘stress hormone’ that our bodies release in response to anxiety; over prolonged periods, higher cortisol levels have been linked to a wide range of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, a lowered immune response, as well as depression and anxiety. Healthier organs. When you're active your body is working more, which is good for your organs. For example, a stronger heart will help you have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Healthier bones. Weight-bearing exercises will strengthen your bones and build your muscle, which can reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. Healthier weight. If you're overweight, becoming more active can help you start to reduce body fat as your stamina and fitness levels improve. More energy. As your body adapts to increased activity levels you get a natural energy boost, which can make you feel less tired. Researchers say that even low intensity levels of activity can be beneficial if you usually feel very fatigued. Improved sleep. Many people find they are able to sleep better at night after having been more active during the day. Cycling helped me lose weight and I feel better about myself. But after being active for a few days I need a good sleep. That's important too!

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