Also, it is associated with reducing the effects of biological and functional ageing (physical changes that reduce the efficiency of body systems).
The benefits of an active lifestyle go beyond just the physical factors; they are psychological, personal and social aspects, as well.
Overall, strong evidence demonstrates that individuals who are more active, compared to the less active:
- have lower rates of all-cause mortality, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and depression
- exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
- are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition
The current guidelines recommend that adults (18–64 years) and older adults (>65 years) should aim to be active daily:
1. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
2. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
3. All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods. Also, undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
4. Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and coordination on at least two days a week.
However, exercise also may produce health risk factors, such as: musculoskeletal and spinal injuries, pain, heart complications, and even sudden death.
Doses of moderate physical activity equivalent to meeting current recommendations may attenuate or eliminate those risk factors.