Physical Activity

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure.

One of the healthiest and most effective ways of preventing or reducing excess weight is regular physical activity. It is also beneficial for cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and mental health, as well as for fall prevention, particularly in the elderly.

Below, there is a list of positive effects of physical activity:

  1. It lowers blood pressure;
  2. It improves lipoprotein profile, C-reactive protein and other coronary disease’s biological markers;
  3. It improves insulin sensitivity, making it more effective;
  4. In the elderly, it increases muscular strength and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls and preserving bone mass (making them less prone to fractures in case of a fall);
  5. It also acts on different aspects of mental health: reduces anxiety, improves well-being and quality of life, improves cognitive function and reduces the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

It is important to notice that, physical inactivity (sedentary lifestyle) was identified as the fourth main risk factor for global mortality, causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths worldwide. Additionally, physical inactivity is estimated to be the leading cause for 21 to 25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischemic heart disease.

The Directorate-General of Health recommends:

Be physically active, for your health!