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The benefits of physical activity: studying them makes you more

What you are about to read may encourage you to exercise.

Regular physical activity adds a predictable seven years to your life expectancy; significantly reduces the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancer; helps manage blood pressure, cholesterol and weight; keeps your brain sharp, whether you are young or old; strengthens bones and muscles; and reduces the likelihood of developing mental states, such as depression, and alleviates the symptoms if they do.

Try to remember this because it can help you move: in an Australian study, people familiar with the specific benefits of physical activity are more likely to do so.

“Most people know that physical activity is good for health. Few people know the specific health benefits of physical activity, and maybe this is specific knowledge that positively influences their behavior in physical activity, ”said study leader Dr. Stephanie Shoppe, senior researcher at Central Queensland University, in a statement.

Schoeppe and her team created an online survey to poll 615 Australian adults about physical activity — how much they knew about it and how much they did.

Almost everyone understands that physical activity is good for your overall health.

But beyond this basic level of knowledge, few people could identify the benefits of physical activity and the risks of physical inactivity.

On average, participants were able to correctly identify 13 of 22 diseases associated with physical inactivity.

As the researchers predicted, those who knew more about the specific conditions associated with physical inactivity reported significantly higher levels of activity than those who knew less about them.

More than half did not know how much exercise they should do every week. (FYU, government recommendations dictate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two sessions of muscle strengthening activities.) However, this knowledge does not seem to be related to how much exercise was actually done.

The study has limitations – the survey respondents were mostly women (therefore, the conclusions could not be generalized for men) and reported how much physical activity they did (so that the data could be inaccurate).

The study also cannot say for sure that exploring the benefits of exercise will actually encourage someone to do more, although the researchers nevertheless concluded that the study is “useful insight” regarding the behavior of physical activity.

A study published in the journal PLOS ONE,

FOLLOWING: Physical activity is a “wonderful drug” for your health, but you may not understand how wonderful

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