Research conducted into the link between sport and healthy living has consistently shown the positive effect that one has on the other. Not only that, but studies have also found that playing sport can help you to tackle or prevent diseases such as cancer, cholesterol, and mental illnesses such as depression.
The positive effects that sport can have on both physical and mental health are quite remarkable. Staying in shape requires you to look after all aspects of your wellbeing, and playing sport is a great way to do this. This can be especially true for older people who may lose touch with physical activity as they age. Playing sport can help your mind stay active as you grow older as well as making sure that you have plenty of social activities to enjoy.
Of course, playing sport is just one part of the healthy lifestyle that you should be aiming for. Just as key are eating the right things, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of rest.
How to check if you are healthy
If you are interested in keeping in the best shape, then it is a good idea to first check how fit you are. This will give you the best jumping-off point to make any changes to your lifestyle if needed and identify areas that you may need to put some extra work into.
Check your fat levels
One great tip to begin with is to check out the levels of fatty substance in your blood. Doing this will let you see if there are any issues that need addressing in this important area and take action in terms of diet along with exercise. Tests for levels of fatty substance include lipid panel tests, which look at the amount of lipids in your blood. If you have a high amount of these lipids, then it is time to take action!
Go for a run or walk
The standard test within most military units for basic fitness is the ability to complete a two-mile run in good time without being unduly distressed. This type of exercise works your whole body and so gives a very reliable indicator of how healthy you are overall. Of course, if you are at a stage in life where this is just not practical, then you could walk for a shorter length instead.
Keep an eye on your day-to-day health
Our bodies are actually very intelligent and will send us messages if they are not happy or in the best condition. To really see how in shape you are, try to tune into what your body is telling you when you go about normal tasks. If you get out of breath going up the stairs, then it is a sign that you may need to take steps.
What are the health implications of not exercising?
If you currently do little to no exercise, then you could be setting yourself up for health issues in the future. Here are a few health risks that you could be taking by not exercising:
- High cholesterol
In simple terms, by not exercising, you risk being overweight or obese. If this does happen, then you run a bigger risk of developing high cholesterol. Possible side effects of high cholesterol are very serious and include heart disease. Exercise has been found to lower weight, which in turn lowers the amount of low-density lipoprotein in your blood.
Studies have shown that depression can be caused by many factors, one of which is low self-esteem. If we feel out of shape or unattractive, then our self-esteem will suffer, possibly bringing on mental illnesses such as depression. By not exercising, we risk this happening and developing a negative image around our own bodies.
One of the biggest killers in the world today is this terrible disease. Though exercise is not a cure or fail-safe prevention, it has been found to help keep cancer at bay. It seems that exercise can reduce inflammation and can improve some functions of your immune system, which helps the body in fighting off cancer cells. By not exercising, you are not giving your body these benefits and the head-start in stopping cancer spreading through your body.
Sport is not only healthy but also fun!
There is little doubt that a positive link between sport and healthy living exists. Whether it is taking part in classes at the local gym, swimming in the local pool, or enjoying a game of baseball, it can have a lot of great health benefits. Not only that but it is also a fun, social activity that you will look forward to participating in each week. If you don’t already, then taking up some form of sport or exercise is well worth it!