Positive and negative aspects of physical activity

Most medical professionals swear by physical activity as being the panacea for most health issues and if that was not enough, we often have to face a barrage of print ads in the media coupled with television ads, promoting the same. But perhaps it is time that we took a closer look at physical activity and learnt whether it is really that good as the hype or whether it is a case of aggressive marketing by certain companies that specialize in exercise equipment. Here’s to taking a closer look at the positive and negative aspects of physical activity.

Positive and negative aspects of physical activity

Positive impact of physical activity:

  • Improved physical health: One of the significant benefits associated with physical activity is the improvement in health.  Physical activity of any sort helps you to exercise your muscles and in the process, aids in the elimination of fat as well. Our body breaks down the food we consume into sugar and stores the same in our muscles. However, when our muscle stores are replenished, then it starts to convert the excess sugar into fat, resulting in obesity. This is why physical activity is highly recommended as it helps you to burn off this excess fat, along with helping to improve your circulatory and cardiovascular health.
  • Obesity: One of the natural ways to help eliminate obesity happens to be intense physical activity. The extra activity helps to counter the effects of a sedentary life that we often lead which is why it is recommended that most adults partake in intense physical activity lasting for at least two and half hours, per week. In fact, intense physical activity is part of most diet programs but it is advisable that you consult your physician before enrolling in any such program.
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels: If you are a diabetic then you should know that a good bout of intense physical activity can help keep your blood sugar levels at normal levels. It is important that you maintain a strict diet and watch what you eat while undertaking exercise regularly as it can help you regulate your blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Good mental health: A good workout session can often result in your brain releasing Dopamine, the feel-good hormone. This is why you often feel good about yourself after an intense workout session. It should be further pointed out that dopamine can also help offset depression and is instrumental in promoting good mental health.

Negative impact of physical activity:

  • Burn out: It is good to aspire to remain healthy but there is such a thing as overdoing it; there are those who often become obsessed with the fitness exercises that they tend to overdo the same. This often results in a burnout, where you end up feeling listless and tired, as your brain tries to overcompensate for all the additional physical stress you are causing your body to undergo.
  • Low self-esteem: There could be other factors which can help contribute to your obesity so chances are that you may not be able to lose much weight even after intense physical activity. This will have a psychological effect on you and what’s more, if the process of shedding those extra calories is taking way too long, then this too can cause you to become depressed and in the process, develop a low self-esteem of yourself.
  • Injuries: It is important that you enroll in a fitness program run by experts since undertaking physical activity on your own can lead to mistakes and can even cause you to injure yourself. While you do not require any formal training for basic physical activities such as running and jogging, it is important that you enroll in a fitness program so that you can try out various advanced physical activities with expert training. Moreover, with a fitness regimen, you should be able to scale up your exercises over a period of time rather than attempt to do it all in one go. The fact remains that most people can injure themselves and several have done so while undertaking physical activity so it is important that you choose to pace yourself, follow directions accurately and seek medical treatment should you become injured in the process.

These are some of the positive and negative aspects of physical activity; physical activity is important and essential given the various health benefits associated with the same. But equally important is the fact that we must pace ourselves when undertaking any physical activity over prolonged periods of time, as this can help offset some of the negative aspects of physical activity.

Alan Behrens

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