Covenant Health Ins.

Live Healthy and Happily
Physical Fitness Improves

How Physical Fitness Improves Quality of Life

Today there is clear evidence that leading an ACTIVE LIFE, improves health, well-being and quality of life at any age, allows you to live longer independently and helps prevent chronic diseases. Leading an active life in childhood and adolescence favours growth and body acceptance. In young and adult people, physical and mental health improves and in older people it promotes healthy aging. Incorporate into your daily life some simple activities such as walking, climbing stairs, running, playing, dancing, cycling, swimming, etc. These activities help us feel good and improve our health.

What do we need to know?

By physical activity we mean any body movement that result in an energy expenditure (burning calories). Performing a physical activity means “MOVING”.  In today’s society, physical activity is carried out with different intensity depending on the purpose we have: work, leisure, improvement of physical abilities, development of strength and balance, among others. Physical activity includes, in addition to daily activities, physical exercise and sport:

  • Physical exercise: it is a structured, repetitive, planned and carried out physical activity with an objective related to the improvement or maintenance of the  physical condition
  • Sport: it is a regulated physical activity and aimed at achieving results in a competition in general.

In order to take care of our health, in addition to INCREASING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, it is very important to REDUCE THE SEDENTARISM; because it can happen that a physically active person is both sedentary because he spends a lot of time without moving. 

Sedentary

When talking about sedentary lifestyle, we refer to any activity that requires very little movement and therefore very little energy expenditure. It includes activities such as sitting watching television, playing video games, using the computer, tablet or mobile phone and travelling by car, among others. Sedentarism is not the same as physical inactivity!

Physical inactivity

By physical inactivity we understand not reaching the recommendations on physical activity for health. An adult will be inactive if they perform less than 150 minutes (2 hours and a half) of moderate physical activity a week. And in the case of children and adolescents, they will be inactive if they perform less than 60 minutes (one hour) a day of moderate or vigorous physical activity. 

The physical inactivity has consequences on our health. Today it is known that inactivity is currently the 4th most important mortality risk factor in the world, only behind hypertension, tobacco use and hyperglycaemia.

Physical condition

A person’s physical condition is the ability he has to perform physical effort or withstand an overload. It consists of the resistance of the heart and lungs, the strength of the muscles, the flexibility of the joints and the composition of the body. Maintaining a good physical condition is synonymous with a good state of health from an early age.

In addition, there are other components of the physical condition that are more related to sports performance than to health such as agility, coordination, power and speed among others.

Physical activity and functional diversity

Having a physical or mental disability, either from birth or overcoming at any time in life, is not an impediment to the practice of physical activity. The global recommendations on physical activity for health are applicable for the entire population, also for people with functional diversity. However, it is necessary to adapt these recommendations to your condition, taking into consideration the specific risks or limitations that affect your health when performing certain exercises.

What kind of physical activity do we need?

To know what kind of physical activity we need, we must stop to think about how active we are at this time, how long we remain sitting in one place and what our physical condition is. It is essential to incorporate in our daily life the physical activities that are beneficial to our health, and above all, those that are satisfactory to us.

During our trips, it is convenient to get used to walking, cycling, using the stairs, getting off a stop before our bus or subway destination. If we do a sedentary work it is advisable to get up, stretch and move for 1 to 3 minutes every hour, making our breaks active. The practice of physical activity beneficial to our health includes help with assignment performing the following types of exercises depending on our physical condition and age.

How intense can physical activity is?

Depending on our physical condition and age, to reach the recommendations on physical activity it is also important to take into account the effort we have to make, the intensity with which we perform the physical exercise, with different levels:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Vigorous

Benefits of physical exercise

Physical exercise helps younger people to:

  • Develop your body in a healthy way
  • Increase coordination and control of movements
  • Increase school performance because it improves memory, concentration and decreases anxiety
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Promote integration in the group
  • Promote positive social relationships
  • Prevent the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and toxins
  • Educate in values ​​because it encourages effort, friendship and team spirit
  • How to lead an active life
  • Physical exercise favours other healthy lifestyle habits and, if acquired during childhood, it is easier to maintain a lifetime

What can we do as parents?

Some recommendations to promote the practice of exercise and sport in your children:

  • Act as an active model in the lives of your children
  • Give your children toys that stimulate movement, such as balls, bicycles, sneakers, etc.
  • Promotes travel on foot or by bicycle.
  • Create family adventures in the city. Discover the parks, the greenways … Participate in recreational and sports activities in the neighbourhood where you live.
  • Plan an active family vacation: swimming, cycling, climbing, camping, hiking in the countryside, and fishing.
  • It encourages the playful aspects of the exercise. Fostering competitiveness creates pressure and can lead to frustration and abandonment.
  • It promotes equal collaboration in house maintenance tasks: cleaning, tidying up, walking the dog …
  • Support your daughters to practice exercise and not to abandon it . Do not put aesthetic questions first. Value your tastes and abilities.
  • Monitor the time your children spend in front of a screen, limiting it to a maximum of 2 hours a day during leisure time and avoiding television and computers in their bedroom. In children under 2 years of age its use is not advisable.

Adult people

There is always a type of exercise that you can do:

  • You must choose the physical activity that best suits your tastes and possibilities.
  • If you do not practice physical activity on a regular basis you should start small, adding a few minutes each day until you reach 30 minutes.
  • If during the practice of physical activity any physical discomfort appears it is preferable to stop and then consult it at your health centre.

If you are going to start an exercise or sport, a consultation at the health centre is recommended in the following cases:

  • If you have any disease or suffer pain or discomfort with physical activity.
  • If you are over 65 years old.