Physical Activity is most commonly known for its advantages in muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and weight loss. However, physical activity plays a greater role in our lives than just getting fitter and stronger. Whilst these outcomes are favourable, physical activity has a vast range of benefits that can also improve our health and wellbeing. The following are just some examples:
Mood and Motivation
Physical activity has been linked with stabilising and improving mood. When participating in physical activity our brain releases the hormones dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. These hormones play an important part in affecting mood and is associated with improving symptoms of diagnosed mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Regular participation in physical activity can also improve fatigue and tiredness which can go hand in hand with low mood.
Participating in group based physical activity is a great way to meet new people and establish and maintain friendships. Not only can this help with developing social skills at a young age, but it can also be beneficial later in life. Due to the social nature of group activities, participation can increase motivation and commitment to physical activity, solidifying long term change.
Development & Quality of Life
During our early stages of life, our bodies are still growing and developing and therefore it is important that we are establishing a positive foundation for later years in life. Physical activity can help children acquire fundamental skills that can often be taken for granted. These include motor patterning, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, coordination and balance. It has been shown that children who participate in physical activity are more likely to lead healthier more active lifestyles. Through participating in regular physical activity, people are at less risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.