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May – National Awareness Month: Physical Fitness and Sports

6-8Soccer

As a part of our May national awareness month, our blog this week will be covering the importance of physical fitness.  We will highlight several different sports and their benefits.

Why is Physical Fitness Important?

Physical activity is essential to prevent and reduce risks of many diseases and improve physical and mental health. It can even help you live longer—research from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine indicates that regular exercise can add up to five years to your life. The researchers also examined how life expectancy changed with the combination of both activity and obesity. Obesity was associated with a shorter life expectancy, but physical activity helped to mitigate some of the harm. People who were obese and inactive had a life expectancy that was between five to seven years shorter (depending on their level of obesity) than people who were normal weight and moderately active.

Physical activity also keeps you in shape so you can enjoy leisure activities and safely perform work and home chores. It offers great mental and social benefits as well. The Lancet released a series of studies that attribute positive outcomes to physical activity, including “a sense of purpose and value, a better quality of life, improved sleep, and reduced stress, as well as stronger relationships and social connectedness.”

Sports and what they can do for you

Sports, whether it be a solo or team sport, also plays a crucial role in physical fitness, psychosocial health, and also other several health benefits that are less obvious but still important such as lowering chances of future health problems arising. They also teach people about important life morals to live by:

* Many athletes do better academically, but it always varies from individual to individual.

* Playing on a team teaches individuals how to use teamwork in order to reach a goal.

* Sports help people make goals and dreams that can raise their self esteem and self confidence when they see the hard work they put in to achieve that dream.

12 important reasons to be physically active

1. Be healthier

2. Increase your chances of living longer

3. Feel better about yourself

4. Reduce the chance of becoming depressed

5. Sleep better at night

6. Look good

7. Be in shape

8. Get around better

9. Have stronger muscles and bones

10. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight

11. Be with friends or meet new people

12. Have fun

Physical activity reduces risk for eight conditions

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exercise can reduce your risk of: * Heart disease

* Stroke

* High blood pressure * Type 2 diabetes

* Obesity * Depression * Breast and colon cancer

* Osteoporosis

* Anxiety

* Stress

* ADHD

* PTSD and trauma

For more information about physical fitness and sports check out these websites: * http://www.cancer.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/PhysicalActivityLifeExpectancy * http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/health/physical-activity-fitness/why-physical-activity-fitness-important * http://www.muhealth.org/services/pediatrics/conditions/adolescent-medicine/benefits-of-sports/

We here at Breton Village Pediatrics and Family Medicine hope that this blog helps you to see the importance of being physically active, or that you take steps in order to be more active and live a healthy and happy life.