Maintaining physical fitness is closely associated with a sound health status among members of society. Sedentary lifestyles, lack of exercise, and poor functional movement contributes to various health problems which are realised on a daily basis in the United States of America (USA) that put many lives at risk and is, therefore, not in the best interests of society as a whole.
Physical inactivity leads to many lifestyle diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, among others, as well as (potentially) adding to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight or body fat that might affect their health. This usually results from having a sedentary lifestyle and/or consuming a high calorie diet, bringing about excessive weight gain.
Consequently, an obese person can become withdrawn from performing general or physical activities due to the excess weight they carry, which can make movement uncomfortable or even painful. When performing physical activities sweating can be an issue, as excessive sweating is more common in those who are overweight or out of shape. The sweat that eccrine sweat glands produce is made up of 99% water and a few other metabolites including: waste products from the blood like sodium chloride, urea, uric acid, proteins, and immunoglobulins.
Hypertension, aka high blood pressure, puts extra strain on a persons blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes. Persistent high blood pressure can increase the risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as: heart disease; heart attacks; strokes; heart failure; peripheral arterial disease; aortic aneurysms; kidney disease; and vascular dementia.
For those with have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower their risk of these health conditions. However, if left unchecked, hypertension has the potential of being fatal and resulting in death (Winzer, Woitek & Linke, 2018). Once diagnosed, a remedy is a lifetime full of daily medication to ensure that the heart functions as intended and this may become expensive to anyone who is not financially capable of maintaining such as lifestyle. This, therefore, becomes a case of prevention being cheaper than cure for any person who wants to avoid such a costly mode of living. Prevention in this case entails the simple recipe of regular exercise resulting in higher levels of physical fitness to prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular, and other, diseases.
A Psychological Approach
Upon taking a psychological approach, lack of physical activity adds to feelings of anxiety and depression. This case is often realised when investigating the matter of body shaming. Physical inactivity almost certainly guarantees an out of shape body, thereby resulting in the possibility of the person in concern getting heckled and trolled by members of the public regarding their body.
An individual is immune only to a certain extent against harsh criticism coming their way and, upon approaching their breaking point, may begin to feel depressed due to constant negative interactions. This can lead to anxiety and depressive symptoms, thus depriving them of their peace of mind (Bélair, Kohen, Kingsbury & Colman, 2018). Ultimately, the esteem of such people can become low and, thus, anxiety/depression can become a serious mental health issue.
Physical activity has a wide array of health benefits for individuals that decide to ‘step up’ and take the initiative towards ensuring that they are physically fit.
Physical activity helps to curb many of the prevalent lifestyle diseases and lowers the risk of psychological problems, thus, it is a clear health booster to society at large.
Regular, and moderate, physical exercise does not take too much out of anyone (in both time an d effort) and its positive benefits outweigh any negative costs that may come with it.
Physical activity (and exercise should, therefore, be embraced by all people if the nation is to realise a healthy society.
Bélair, M-A., Kohen, D.E., Kingsbury, M. & Colman, I. (2018). Relationship between leisure time physical activity, sedentary behaviour and symptoms of depression and anxiety: evidence from a population-based sample of Canadian adolescents. BMJ Open. 8(10), e021119. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021119.
Winzer, E. B., Woitek, F., & Linke, A. (2018). Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease. Journal of the American Heart Association. 7(4). https://doi.org/10.1161/jaha.117.007725.
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