The secret to staying healthy: Staying active

Senior couple at homeGoing vegetarian or vegan. Eating a high-protien diet. Taking nutritional supplements. Avoiding supplements altogether. Using cannabidiol. Staying away from cannabidiol. Teetotalling. Drinking a glass of red wine each day.

Sound familiar? We’re told every day about a combination of foods and drugs that will keep us healthy longer. And, what is the “best” advice often changes from day to day.

But there is one thing about which the benefits are undeniable: the best thing you can do to maintain your good health as long as possible is to stay physically and mentally active throughout your life.

Benefits of physical activity

Physical activity brings a cascade of physical benefits, no matter what your age. It stimulates the heart, lungs and circulatory system, strengthening them and making them better able to do their jobs. Physical activity strengthens muscles and boosts the function of just about every body system.

Over the long term, regular physical activity can help prevent the loss of bone density and osteoporosis.

Physical activity also improves the health of the brain and mind, as well as the immune system. In other words, a healthy, active lifestyle makes you better able to fight off infection and disease. It’s a virtuous cycle.

Mental activity

Physical exercise or increased activity has proven, real benefits for your mental health. You may have heard of the “runner’s high” — a mood boost that follows not just running, but any physical activity that you enjoy, such as playing a sport or just moving your body. Physical activity releases hormones called endorphins, which cause you to feel pleasure and can help reduce depression.

Your mind needs exercise just as much as your body does. Books, games, music and being with other people are essential to your mental health. What’s more, good mental health can also boost your physical health.

Social activity

Physical activity can also be a social event — a chance to connect with people around you. Sports, group exercises, dancing and other activities are critical in avoiding depression, boosting your mood while exercising body and mind.

Keep it fun

Regular physical, mental and social activity are good for you, no matter who you are or what your situation is. The best news is that it doesn’t have to be extreme or expensive. Just going outside for a walk with a loved one, getting together with friends or colleagues, even gardening can have real, long-lasting health benefits.

Regular activity throughout your life is key, which means you should choose an activity you enjoy. Do what you love, whether it’s hiking solo in the woods, playing catch with your kids or joining your buddies for a weekly game of Ultimate. Whatever gets your heart thumping and your breath faster for a short time will also keep your blood flowing smoothly and your mind sharp.

Keep following us at Proactive Wellness Centers for the latest information on how to stay healthy.