In Canada there are approximately 70,000 hearts attacks each year. (1 heart attack every 7 minutes).
In the United States there are an estimated 800,000 people that will experience their first heart attack this year. Moreover, 470,000 Americans who have already experienced their first heart attack will have a second?
There are several factors that can predispose a person to a heart attack, but did you know that physical inactivity is one of the major causes?
Obesity rates in North America are on the rise and are related to a person’s physical activity level. Diabetes, hypertension, stroke and so may other diseases have been associated with those who lead a sedentary life.
Physical activity along with proper nutrition are major elements in creating and living a healthy lifestyle. Some of the health benefits attributed with being active include:
- Reduces risk for heart disease
- Prevents bone loss and increases muscular strength (both of which are things that typically decrease as we age)
- Helps to control weight
- Reduces stress
- Increases energy levels
- Improves sleep
- Increases cognitive functioning
Given the vast benefits that can be obtained from being active, Getting started is always the hardest thing, but start out small and then before you know it you’ll be running marathons, climbing mountains and competing in the crossfit games! All it takes is simply 30 minutes a day at least 3-4 times a week, the main thing is to get your heart pumping.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that physical activity should start as young as infancy, with little things such as interactive floor based play. Introducing physical activity at a young age is a benefit that will only foster the development of healthy habits that will hopefully continue through adolescence and into adulthood.
Not only will being active help your overall health, but your pockets will also benefit. Those who are inactive typically spend more annually on medical costs than those who aren’t. It has been estimated that those who are inactive will spend $1400 more on medical costs annually. Furthermore, these costs end up costing the country more also. Just imagine what extra money could do for education programs in your country or what you could do with an extra $1400 a year? (An extra $1400 for me, here I come all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica!!!)
Remember you don’t have to start out running a 10K, it could be as simple as gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, turning on some music and dancing, even cleaning the house. The goal is to just start moving more and sitting less.
Best in Health,