The benefits of physical activity

The benefits of physical activity are summarized in this list from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help with the following:

• Control your weight
• Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
• Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
• Reduce the risk of some cancers (especially colon and breast) and improve quality of life after cancer
• Strengthen your bones and muscles
• Improve your mental health and mood • If you are older, improve your abilities for daily living and prevent falls.
• Improve your chance of living longer.

A sedentary lifestyle (being without physical activity, generally sitting or lying down with little energy) is the opposite of physical activity. It is related to poorer health and higher mortality. About 20% of adults are physically inactive. Prolonged sedentary or sitting time (more than 8 hours a day) is also associated with an increased risk of obesity and possibly diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, cognitive impairment, and increased mortality. This can be compensated by regular physical exercise, except in cases where the inactivity is due to watching TV, in which case exercise is not paid.

An active, sedentary lifestyle (reading, using a computer) is considered healthier because it is less related to obesity than a sedentary lifestyle (watching TV, chatting). Physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle in the elderly may also be detrimental to health, but this has not been fully proven.


Many hobbies stimulate mental activity, and mental exercise (reading, playing games, studying) improves mental capacity (attention, concentration). It may although not fully proven, protect against dementia in general and Alzheimer’s.


Several studies support that socialization improves cardiovascular health and that, on the contrary, isolation is a risk element for depression, possibly also dementia, and increases mortality. As hobbies are an essential factor of help in social relationships, they can, indirectly, be considered beneficial for health in this regard.


Leisure can help promote better health at any age.
Hobbies and hobbies are a part of leisure, and although not precisely, it could be said that most of the results of studies on peace are valid for them.

It seems logical that leisure associated with physical exercise has its benefits. Some studies indicate that physical activity related to peace decreases mortality and suggest that leisure time activities, with or without training, amovementfically those with a social element or active participation, also reduce mortality. Some studies support that physical exercise related to leisure improves various aspects of health, such as the development of diabetes. Data indicate that socialization is a protective factor against multiple cardiovascular diseases. It is likely that “serious” leisure activities improve the perception of physical and mental health and physical fitness and reduce the risk of developing infections.

It has been pointed out that leisure activities generally have a protective effect on mental capacity and may help to better withstand initial dementia due to this increase in cognitive abilities. Still, it has not been shown that they help prevent the development of dementia. Diseases that cause dementia (generally Alzheimer’s and vascular problems). The effect on mental capacity may be related to an improved lifestyle: more physical exercise, better diet, less stress, and greater psychological well-being.

Leisure seems to help promote better health in the elderly, children, and adolescents. In the elderly, it has been related to lower mortality, greater well-being, and better functionality, especially in activities with a social component. A relationship between active leisure, better mood, and less stress has also been seen. In adolescents, extracurricular activities tend to favor better psychological adjustment and less consumption of alcohol and drugs. It has also been pointed out that mindfulness in young people improves nutrition, sleep, and physical health.

There are particular aspects of leisure -referring mainly to economically developed countries- such as attendance at cultural activities; for example, music, which also improves the subjective sensation of health, can benefit various aspects of physical and mental health and, if performed frequently, theuce mortality. Lower mortality has been reported among those who regularly go to movies, museums, and exhibitions. It has been pointed out that “professional” training in childhood and youth of an artistic nature reduces the subsequent risk of cognitive deterioration and improves levels of physical and social activity.

Another benefit of leisure is that it can aid recovery from chronic illnesses, such as spinal cord injuries or head injuries.

In summary, we are physically and mentally active, leisureeficial for physical and mental health, both in young people and the elderly.

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