Physical Activity and Mood

 We have known for a long time that being inactive has detrimental effects on our health.

Three hundred years ago, a physician called Ramazzini, who wrote about diseases caused by occupation and who is known as the father of occupational medicine, said “…those who sit at their work and are therefore called ‘chair workers’, should be advised to take physical exercise, at any rate on holidays. Let them make the best use they can of some one day, and so to some extent counteract the harm done by many days of sedentary life.”

Yet in today’s world being inactive is a problem affecting lots of people. At the current moment in the USA, only 26 percent of men and 19 percent of women are sufficiently physically active. It isn’t much better around the rest of the world as only one out of every 4 adults are active worldwide.

For those of us over 50, exercise helps to improve our cognition (the ability for thinking, understanding, and reasoning)

At any age, exercising helps to reduce the risk of becoming depressed.

Exercise can improve how long you sleep, help you get to sleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

Remind yourself that even making small changes to your level of activity can be helpful. You don’t have to become a triathlete, or even get a gym membership. Just try to move more throughout the day.

What can you do to start?

Take a look at the government’s recommendations for physical activity at
https://health.gov/paguidelines/

Take small steps to make big changes in your well-being. It is within your control to choose to build activity into your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk for 10 or 15 minutes during lunchtime. Recruit a friend to join you. Or join a group who already take a daily walk.

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