Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. (NHS article). Physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (UK Gov Publication on Physical Activity).
Cardiovascular fitness helps to keep our heart healthy and reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Our heart is the key organ to keep our bodies ticking over, so the stronger and more efficiently it works, the better our bodies will function. Improving cardiovascular health will not only allow for more blood to be pumped around the body improving everyday life but will also help to reduce blood pressure and assist with weight management.
Everyday Health - Strength
Improving muscular strength will help reduce the loss of lean muscle mass associated with ageing. Strength training also benefits people who have health issues such as obesity, arthritis, or a heart condition. The Centre for Disease Control Prevention physical activity guidelines recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities on at least two or more days each week (https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx).
Other benefits of improving strength include:
- Enhanced performance of everyday tasks.
- Improved joint function.
- Improved posture.
- Better sleep.
Improving muscular endurance will help your muscles perform everyday tasks easier and for longer periods of time without fatiguing. You will benefit from having more energy and you will be able to engage in more activities.
Muscular endurance is also important for the health of our joints and bones and will also help decrease the chance of injury.
Balance is a key fitness component which is often taken for granted. We use our muscles, joints and proprioception to stabilise our bodies to be able to perform everyday tasks and co-ordinate movements easily. Improving muscular strength, endurance and joint stability will help reduce the risk of injuries and, most importantly, reduce the risk of falling. As we age our balance decreases and the chance of falls increases. Falls are the leading cause of injury amongst adults over 65 (https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i5190.full) and can have a negative effect on quality of life and independence as we age.
To live a healthy lifestyle and slow down the effects of ageing, improving all aspects of fitness is key. FitQuest will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses and enable you to tailor your training to keep improving on your scores. Re-test every 3-4 weeks and track your progress on the FitQuest as you become a healthier and fitter person.