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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Health: 10 tips to increase your physical well-being

Health: 10 tips to increase your physical well-being

A mini-guide to remind us why physical activity is important and how we can, in a simple way, help improve health and well-being.

It has now been widely demonstrated that regular physical activity, even of moderate intensity, contributes to improving health and quality of life. Here are the 10 things worth knowing about it.

1. A daily physical activity reduces the risk of getting sick from numerous diseases and improves mood.

In particular, the risks for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and various cancers (eg: colon and breast), heart attacks, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal disorders, anxiety and disorders related to the emotional sphere are reduced; it also prevents risky behavior, promotes psychological well-being through the development of self-esteem, autonomy and ease of anxiety management, reduces the risk of obesity;

2. The World Health Organization defines "physical activity" as any "body movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure".

This definition therefore includes not only sports activities, but manual activities and the normal movements of everyday life. It goes without saying that this "beneficial" activity can be done at any time of the day, transforming normal daily operations into a pretext to do some exercise.

3. There is no level of physical activity that is valid for every person, also because it is not easy to measure the amount of movement performed; but…

In 2010 the WHO attempted to give valid indications for all, establishing the minimum amount of physical activity for three age groups: children and teenagers (5 - 17 years): at least 60 'per day of moderate activity - vigorous, including at least 3 times a week exercises for strength that can consist of movement games or sports activities;
b. adults (18 - 64 years): at least 150 'per week of moderate activity or 75' of vigorous activity, with exercises to strengthen the major muscle groups to be performed at least twice a week;
c. seniors (aged 65 and over): the indications are the same as for adults, with the warning to also carry out balance-oriented activities.

We then go on to describe what are the simple physical activities that can help improve our health and well-being, as suggested by the Ministry of Health, which lists them in detail.

5. Go to work or school on foot or by bicycle, avoiding taking the car for small daily trips.

The usefulness and benefit appears evident; if daily it is able to satisfy the necessary "dose" of movement. The quality of our cities will certainly also gain.

6. If using public transport, get off a stop first and finish the journey on foot. If you often use the car, choose to park a little farther than your final destination.

Most of our journeys are less than 2 kilometers, a distance that could otherwise be covered. But if we really can't get away from our 4 wheels, let's try to leave it further away from where we are going. In the long run we will discover that we will first walk.

7. Go up the stairs and do not take the elevator.

At first it may seem like a great effort, but soon it will become almost a necessity.

8. Take the dog for walks, gardening or housework.

With this we can say that we are all right, but let us not delude ourselves. In order for physical activity to have value for our well-being, these just described must be done every day and maybe even putting in a bit of "verve". In the case of dogs, then, let's not forget the shovel and bag ...

9. Play with children, possibly outdoors or through activities that require physical movement.

Playing is good for all ages. Playing games for children is one of the most tiring things for adults. They manage to run and jump continuously, while we trudge exhausted and with our tongue dangling. But it is an activity with a high social value that also has the undoubted merit of transmitting joy. Well-being is assured.

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