Why is movement so important?
According to forecasts by the WHO (World Health Organisation), in the coming decades the number of mental illnesses / problems is expected to increase. This is because people from all social backgrounds are more and more inactive. If we talk about physical and mental illness, inactivity is considered to be a risk factor.
Depression is the most important and most severe mental disorder. Depression can be triggered by inactivity, but can also be triggered by the stress caused by economic, social, and environmental changes.
Performing physical activity has so many health advantages, that if doctors could prescribe it, we would not recognise the world we live in. University researchers in Norwich, England analysed 40 studies published between 2006 and 2010. The studies were about the relationship between regular exercise and disease. The result confirms that after giving up smoking, the second largest benefit to our health is having an active lifestyle. In order to have a beneficial effect, we should exercise gently for at least 150 minutes a week – that is half an hour each day, if we do it five times a week.
This could be walking, gardening or cycling. If we choose a more intense form of exercise (such as swimming, running, aerobics etc.), three 20-minute workouts a week is enough for a beneficial effect.
Results are guaranteed: cardiovascular diseases are reduced, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease as well as the general intellectual decline in old age. Regular walking reduces the risk of osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, depression, obesity and the risk of developing high blood pressure.