It’s National Men’s Health Awareness week and I’d like to raise awareness by discussing some of the benefits that physical activity has on one’s health, and how it can decrease the risk of disease.

Take some time this week to do a bit of research on your own health. Mix up your training regimen, try something new, make some positive changes to your diet and focus on good recovery strategies.

Participating in physical activity on a daily basis can decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, hypertension, depression as well as early mortality. Adding physical activity into one’s daily and weekly routine activates large muscle groups, joints, and large organs that contribute to an increase in metabolism throughout the body. When individuals are sedentary or in other words, inactive, their metabolism is slowed which causes the body to decrease the activation of the cerebrovascular and cardiovascular system. Physical activity helps decrease cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as increases blood flow, improves body composition, mental health and overall well-being. The American College of sports medicine recommends that individuals participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity weekly, in 30-minute bouts. My rule of thumb is train more days than you rest; get out and be active, do some cardio or lift at least 4 out of every 7 days for general health and maintenance.

Many of you probably work in a job where you sit most of the day or for long periods of time. So often we come home to then sit on the couch and watch a hockey game or go out for a drink with friends. What many guys don’t know it that regardless of how much you train before or after work, it’s very difficult to counteract those long periods of inactivity. It’s so important to get up for few minutes each hour and walk around, get blood flowing to all areas of the body and activate metabolic processes.

References

Warburton, D. E. R., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal, 174(6), 801–809. http://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.051351