Lesson 1 The importance and benefits of exercise

WHO defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity improve health. Exercise is important for everyone, people living with chronic conditions, pregnant women, people living with disabilities and children.

Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. It also lowers blood pressure, maintains a healthy body weight and improves mental health, quality of life and well-being.

You want to find out how much physical activity is recommended? Read more here.

Video: What happens when we exercise regularly?

  • Improves muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness that can reduce the risk of falls for older people as well as hip or vertebral fractures;
  • Improves bone and functional health;
  • Reduces the risk of developing hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and various types of cancer (including breast cancer and colon cancer),
  • Helps maintain a healthy body weight,
  • Improves mental health conditions such as depression (including postpartum depression),
  • Reduces anxiety, lowering blood pressure and improving quality of sleep,
  • Reduces risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and decreased pain for those with osteoarthritis,
  • Increases productivity in the workplace,
  • Increases opportunities for socialization, networking and cultural identity, and
  • Has a positive impact on the environment.

Video: Physical, Mental and Overall Health