10 Amazing Physical Activity Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

  • Usman 
physical-activity-benefits

Pertaining to today’s circumstances, physical activity is of significant importance. In these times of pandemic, physical activity is needed now more than ever. While the COVID-19 just occurred about last year, we had been dealing with the pandemic of obesity for years.

Now, with the two at our heads, we are limited to our homes alone. However, that should not be something to stop us from being physically active. So, whether you’ve just started your weight loss/maintenance journey, or you were midway, you must stick to any type of regular physical activity.

The gyms being closed cannot be used as an excuse to skip staying active. It does not matter if the gyms are closed as there is so much you can do inside the premises of your home to get all the physical activity benefits.

Benefits of Physical Activity

With the backing of several studies and trials conducted over the years, we are certain that there is absolutely no drawback to being physically active. Regular physical activity does not only provide short term benefits, but long term, irrefutable advantages as well.

Being active establishes good habits and a healthy lifestyle that your family and especially children can pick up as well. In case you were not aware of these health benefits of regular exercise, here is an outline with enough evidence for you to get physically active if you are still not:

  • ????? Decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases through refining blood circulation throughout the body.
  • ????? Regular exercise helps maintain weight.
  • ???? Improves and prevents hypertension, and improves blood cholesterol levels which reduce risk of heart disease.
  • ??? Keeps bones strong.
  • ?? Enhances energy levels.
  • ? Regular physical activity effectively aids in managing tension, stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • ?? Helps insomnia.
  • ? Better sleep patterns.
  • ? Improves mood stability.
  • ? Enhances self-image.
  • ? Increased muscle strength.

Sedentary behaviour is a threat variable that is changeable and controllable. The risk of idleness may lead to heart problems and an expanding spectrum of several persistent illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, bone and joint diseases, and depression.

Significantly larger decreases in the probability of death by any cause as well as from heart problems have been confirmed in published findings on physical activity benefits.

For example, a more than 50 percent decrease in risk was correlated to staying in shape or mobile. There was observed a 52 percent spike in death rates, a worsening in heart failures?and a 29 percent rise in cancer-related deaths,?relative to physically engaged women,?among physically idle middle-aged women who participated in fewer than 1 hour of work out a week.

Routine physical activity leads significantly to the main and supplementary avoidance of many illnesses and is highly correlated with a decreased likelihood of early death. There is really undeniable proof. Additional advantages of regular exercise are expected to be acquired by individuals who allot time to working out well beyond the rates that have been prescribed as a standard.

Benefits of Weight Loss

One of the key benefits of aerobic exercise and physical fitness is weight loss, which brings its own layer of health benefits. You have probably heard that losing any amount of weight comes with tons of benefits.

It does not matter whether you have lost 1kg or 5kg. Either way, you have put yourself on a journey that will provide short term as well as long term advantages. As per research, based on age and gender, a maintained 10% weight loss will bring down the estimated number of years of life with hypertension, increased cholesterol levels, and type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, there is a substantial decrease in the risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer, osteoarthritis, and back pain.

Weight loss is widely agreed to have major physiological advantages, including minimized risk of diabetes, decreased blood pressure and declined lipid levels in the blood.

Nonetheless, handful psychological and nutritional approaches have explored emotional gain as the main result.?36 studies were chosen and assessed for inclusion. It analyzed and addressed improvements in self-esteem, symptoms of depression, body image and health and well-being. The findings showed noticeable changes in mental health simultaneous to weight loss.?

What do moderate and Vigorous Intensity Mean?

Intensity in physical activity is what gets your heart pumping. Every adult is required to do at least 150 minutes weekly of MVPA. This technical abbreviation is nothing but a simple term used for Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity.

If we broadly define the two, then moderate intensity is mostly the average daily activities one performs. Something that you might be doing right now without realizing that you are burning calories.

This can be called light physical activity. But if you do not like to do your daily chores and live a life of physical inactivity, then doing activities like brisk walk, swimming or cycling would count as moderate intensity aerobic activity for you.

In comparison to moderate physical activity, vigorous intensity physical activity tilts towards activities that require your full energy. In even simpler terms, vigorous activities require you to catch your breath.

These activities could also be something you did today without realizing you just bounced above 6 in your MET scale. Exercise or any everyday activity is quantified in terms of MET or Metabolic Equivalents. A single metabolic equivalent is interpreted as the vitality required to simply sit down.

An easier way for you to understand is with the following example. When sitting or sleeping, an individual who weighs 160 pounds can burn nearly 70 calories an hour. Light to moderate intensity burn less than 6 METs while vigorous burns more than 6 METs.

Light to moderate intensity activities include walking, sitting, dancing, cooking, playing instruments, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn, or cycling. of course those living a sedentary lifestyle would need to consciously engage in everyday activity that counts as moderate physical activity.

Moreover, light forms of games such as tennis or casual badminton falls below 6 METs as well. In contrast, vigorous intensity activity comprises hiking, swimming, jogging, rope skipping, running up the stairs, shoveling, carrying, lifting or moving heavy objects, football, basketball, or soccer.

So, why is this important? In our lives, we want to invest in simple actions that improve many things. Exercise does this from reducing heart diseases or cancer to improving mental health and simply improving the quality of our lives.

Reference – https://www.nhs.uk.live-well/exercise/

How much Physical Activity Do I Need?

Coming to shedding off those extra pounds after weight gain or just maintaining your current numbers, any form of physical activity plays a significant role. Now, whether someone is searching it online or asking a professional, this question is the most commonly asked query.

As mentioned above, we now know that unequivocally movement is required for life and it is irrefutably healthy. Decades back we knew that physical activity was needed, but a certain threshold could not be measured or provided to ones asking about it.

As per reviews and studies, children and adolescents need one hour or more of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity daily to include vigorous activity at least three days a week.

Adults and older adults need to at least indulge in 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days a week. In terms of vigorous activity, adults must incorporate 45 minutes of aerobic activity days a week.

As per recommendations, an average adult aged 18 to 64 must indulge in physical activity involving leisure time, commuting (e.g. walking or cycling), workplace activities, household tasks, play, sports or scheduled workout, in the sense of everyday, family, and social events.

The guidelines for improving cardio-respiratory function and muscular strength, bone health and minimizing the chances of NCDs and depression are that adults must perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.

If not that, then a comparable mixture of moderate and vigorous activity. In addition to this physical activity guidelines also recommend some muscle strengthening activity involving all body muscles twice a day. Strength training can be done by lifting weights or using your body weight for push-ups, pull ups and squats etc.

Significant finding suggests that individuals who are more active have reduced levels of all-cause death, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease), hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, types of cancer, and depression, relative to less active adults.

It is estimated that these individuals have a?less risk factor of a hip or vertebral fracture. In addition, they show a greater degree of cardio respiratory and muscular fitness; they have a healthy body mass and composition, and are therefore inclined to accomplish weight maintenance.

Reference – https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf

How many Calories are used in Typical Activities?

Even on the slowest possible day, with you being in bed the whole day, your body will still be burning calories without you knowing. In the most plain, yet important ways such as breathing, blood circulating, or cell processes you will be burning calories.

On the other hand, on days that your hours are full of happenings, the level of each activity can vary in terms of calories used. People frequently misjudge that exercising alone can aid in losing weight.

However, that is not the case and only exercise is not the recipe for a healthy weight. Depending on your individual weight, your calories will burn as per the intensity of daily activity. It could just be getting the remote control from the other side of the room. To give you an outline, below is an image of general activities accompanied by the amount of calories one burns:

caloried-burned-with-activities
Data courtesy: https://www.move.va.gov/

What Physical Activity Burns the most Belly Fat?

After knowing the physical activity guidelines and how they not only help you with lower risk of chronic disease but also help you look smart and in shape. So after you decide to improve your physical activity level, you would be interested in which physical exercise burns the most belly fat.

The fat on your belly is a huge problem! Sure, you want to fit into the skinny jeans that fit you perfectly last year. However, what is worse is that it indicates adverse events for your overall health.

There are two forms of fat throughout your midriffs that hang around. Subcutaneous fat is one of them. This fat is under your skin that is spread across your body. The visceral fat that wraps most of your vital organs, including the liver, pancreas, and intestines, is the other form.

Visceral fat is seen to be rather metabolically active than subcutaneous fat, and studies have suggested that it is hugely enhanced by the stress hormone cortisol. Insulin resistance, inflammation, and metabolic disorder have been closely associated with it, including in those with a normal BMI.

But even though our well-being is perceived to be more risky, the real kicker is that it is quicker to modify.

The best way one can get rid of that annoying belly fat is to exercise. However, the combination of both working out and dietary control can substantially aid in the process.

There were two experiments carried out. In the first one, 1 out of 2 diets were offered to 69 overweight/obese men and women. More intra-abdominal adipose tissue (belly fat) was decreased in subjects who ingested the lower-carbohydrate vs. the lower-fat diet.

To burn the most belly fat, a number activities and dietary controls can be opted for. Eating more soluble foods and portion control would be significant in the procedure. On the other hand, a randomized research concluded that physical activity needs at least 10 METs, including brisk walking, light jogging, or stationary ergometer use, for visceral fat reduction.

Can you Lose Weight if you just Exercise without Eating a Healthy Diet?

Here is another commonly asked query – Only if things were THAT easy! To answer just this question, then no, you will not be losing any weight. You would perhaps be eating even more than you did before.

We will explain why. You must know that in order to lose weight you must consume fewer calories and working out will aid in burning the calories. If you do not eat a restricted, healthy diet then you would only be exhausting your energy to the point you over eat to satisfy your lost energy.

So, if you do not obtain a calorie deficit, you will never see to losing weight. Everything in life in general involves a balance between things. Working out and neglecting to be cautious of what you eat is not the best weight loss plan and you will not be getting the real benefits of physical activity.

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Muhammad Usman

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