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General Practice 2023

11 benefícios of physical activity (and how to start training)

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11 benefícios of physical activity (and how to start training)
11 benefícios of physical activity (and how to start training)
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The regular practice of physical activity is able to improve blood circulation, strengthen the immune system, help to lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and strengthen bones, for example. These benefits can be achieved in about 1 month after starting regular physical activity, such as walking, jumping rope, running, dancing or weight training.

In addition, practicing physical activity after studies is a great strategy to consolidate learning due to increased cerebral blood circulation and increased production of catecholamines, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, which are essential substances for memory.

Physical activities can be done at any age, but it is important to have a medical evaluation before starting exercise to assess general he alth and heart conditions.For the elderly, pregnant women or overweight people, in addition to medical evaluation, follow-up with a physical educator is recommended.

Check if you are within the ideal weight to exercise:

The main benefits of physical activities are:

1. Fight excess weight

Physical activities are the best way to fight excess weight or obesity, as well as helping to maintain weight loss. This is because exercise accelerates the body's metabolism, favoring energy expenditure and calorie burning, and the more intense the exercise, the more calories are burned.

In addition, some studies show that interspersing aerobic activities, such as walking, running, swimming or cycling, with strength and resistance training, such as weight training, can maximize fat loss as the increase in muscle mass contributes to speed up metabolism as muscles expend more energy than fat cells, which is essential to eliminate excess weight.Check out other ways to speed up your metabolism.

2. Lowers blood pressure

Some studies show that doing aerobic physical activities regularly, such as walking, for example, helps to reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation, which are important benefits for hypertensive patients.

In addition, physical activities improve good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack or stroke.

3. Helps control blood glucose

Physical activities help control blood glucose by improving insulin sensitivity, which helps reduce blood sugar levels, and can be an important ally in preventing and fighting diabetes.

In addition, doing regular physical activities helps to reduce excess fat around the waist that is related to increased insulin resistance, causing the body not to use sugar correctly, which leads to increase in blood glucose, increasing the risk of developing diabetes.

The ideal is to practice aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes a week to help reduce blood glucose and fight diabetes.

4. Strengthens bones and joints

Physical activities such as walking or weight training help strengthen bones and joints by promoting bone growth and increasing bone strength and density. This benefit is especially important for seniors as it helps prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of injuries, falls and fractures related to weakening bones.

5. Increases muscle strength and endurance

Muscle-strengthening physical activities such as weight training can help increase or maintain muscle mass and increase muscle endurance and strength, as these exercises encourage muscle building and function.

These benefits are very important especially for elderly people who have a reduction in muscle mass and strength that naturally occurs with aging, and which can cause injuries or increase the risk of falls.Therefore, practicing regular physical activity, with strengthening exercises, is essential to reduce loss, maintain and improve muscle strength and endurance.

6. Promotes a sense of well-being

Physical activities stimulate the production and release of endorphin, which is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, which has analgesic action in the body, which helps to promote a feeling of physical and mental well-being.

In addition, when performed regularly, physical activities help to increase relaxation, improve the feeling of pleasure, mood, self-confidence and self-esteem, which promotes a feeling of better quality of life and well-being. be.

7. Decreases stress

Physical activities help balance the level of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are usually released in large amounts in the body in times of stress and nervousness, as a normal response of the body to resolve situations stressful.

However, in people with chronic stress, levels of these hormones can be constantly high, and physical activity can decrease the production and release of cortisol and adrenaline, helping to reduce stress.

8. Fights Anxiety and Depression

Physical activities help increase the production, release and sensitivity of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, responsible for regulating mood, sleep, appetite, heart rate and memory. When these neurotransmitters are in low concentrations in the body, they can cause anxiety or depression, so physical activities, by increasing the amount of these substances in the body, help fight anxiety and depression.

In addition, people who are anxious or depressed often have trouble sleeping and physical activities help improve sleep quality, allowing the person to fall asleep faster and with a deeper and more restful sleep.

9. Increase mood

Endorphins, serotonin and dopamine released during physical activity help to increase mood, improve energy, a sense of well-being and alertness, in addition to reducing the feeling of tiredness.

In addition, exercise improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, which increases the disposition and energy to do everyday tasks and, therefore, it is important for people of all ages to practice exercise.

10. Strengthens the immune system

Physical activities help to strengthen the immune system and increase and improve the body's ability to fight infections, as they activate defense cells, stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory substances and have antioxidant action, which improves the functioning of immune system cells.

11. Improves school performance

Physical activity also has many benefits for the brain he alth of children and teens, including improving memory and learning ability and reducing symptoms of depression.This is because exercise increases blood circulation in the brain, the production of neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and serotonin, and stimulates the development of the hippocampus in the brain, which is the region responsible for memory.

Some studies show that physical activities, even when not performed on a regular basis, increase memory capacity, information processing speed, attention and school performance.

How to start exercising

Before starting to practice physical activities, it is important that medical examinations are carried out to check the general state of he alth, evaluate the joints and cardiac functioning, especially if the person is sedentary. In this way, the doctor can indicate if there is any exercise that is not indicated, the ideal intensity for the practice of exercise and the need for the person to be accompanied by the gym teacher or physical therapist, for example.In addition, it is important that the person is accompanied by a trained professional to reduce the risk of injury.

The beginning of physical activity can be quite difficult for people who are not used to it, so it is recommended that initially lighter exercises are carried out, preferably outdoors, such as a walk, for example. Ideally, the exercises should be performed 3 to 5 times a week, but you can start slowly, doing only 2 days a week, for 30 to 60 minutes. From the second week onwards, you can increase the frequency to 3 or 4 days, depending on time availability.

Be careful when practicing physical activities

When practicing physical activities, some precautions are important to reduce the risk of injury or improve exercise efficiency and obtain the desired benefits, and include:

  • Understanding how and why physical activity should be performed and the execution time;
  • Choose physical activities that are appropriate to the physical condition so as not to exert excessive effort that harms he alth;
  • Respect your own body's limits;
  • Increase the intensity of physical activity gradually over time according to he alth goals;
  • Choose a time to do physical activity and maintain discipline so you don't lose the stimulus;
  • Use suitable sports equipment according to the sport to be performed;
  • Choose safe environments to carry out activities.

In addition, to obtain all the benefits, it is important that the practice of physical activity is accompanied by a he althy and balanced diet.

Check out nutritionist Tatiana Zanin's tips on what to eat before and after physical activities:

When physical activity is not indicated

The practice of physical activity is recommended for people of all ages, however people who have uncontrolled hypertension, pregnant women with eclampsia or preeclampsia, for example, should only do physical activities when recommended by the doctor and, preferably accompanied by a physical education professional to avoid complications.

Adults and the elderly should be aware of their weight, because when they are underweight they should not exercise regularly to avoid excessive caloric expenditure.

In addition, it is important to be aware of some situations during exercise, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and palpitations, for example. In these cases, it is recommended to stop the activity and seek medical help as soon as possible or the nearest emergency room.

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