Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure. Physical activity is performed for various reasons, including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, and merely enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical activity boosts physical fitness and overall health.
Physical activity is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. It can help you:
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your balance and coordination
- Increase your energy levels
- Sleep better
- Live longer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
There are many different types of physical activity, so you can find something that you enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle. Some examples of physical activity include:
- Playing sports
- Yard work
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking or biking to work or school
If you're new to physical activity, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend being active. It's also important to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any health conditions.
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. By being physically active, you can improve your health, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and live a longer, healthier life.