The benefits of regular physical activity has been talked about for years, however the fitness levels of the average person in America are approaching alarming levels resulting in rising incidences of both preventable health diseases and early death. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, only about one in three adults get the recommended weekly level of exercise and over 80% of adolescents are not getting enough physical activity. 1 With rising rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other debilitating heath problems, it is more important than ever to ensure every person improves their activity level to not only improve their lifespan, but also their quality of life.
In a longitudinal study looking at over one hundred-fifty scientific articles, it was shown that regular physical activity can reduce a person’s overall risk of death 20-35%, cut the risk of death from any cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart attack) in half, as little as one hour of walking per week can reduce the risk of death in women by 33% and in diabetics; two hours of walking each week can decrease the risk of premature death by up to 54%. 2 This evidence shows that increasing physical activity, even if it is only one to two hours a week can be beneficial for everyone regardless of health status or gender. While it is important to exercise on a daily basis, any level of physical activity is better than none at all and it gives you a springboard opportunity to increase on the activity you are already doing.
1. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Facts & Statistics retrieved August 17, 2016 from http://www.fitness.gov/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/.
2. Warburton DE, Nicol CW and Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2006 March 14; 174 (6): 801-9.