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Have you already made a promise to yourself to start going to the gym / pool / running in the stadium, etc. right after Christmas? Or maybe from next Monday/month? If you keep your promise to yourself, then you are a great fellow, because movement is life. If you only have enough for a couple of weeks or periodically visit the thought of quitting all this shit and not torturing yourself, then we at Bemorepanda can help you raise your fallen morale.
If you want to be healthy: facts about the benefits of physical activity, supported by research
You just lack motivation. And not like: “Oh, you need to get in shape a little, otherwise your jeans don’t fasten,” but a serious one, when you really understand why you need all these workouts. And the main reason why this is necessary is the health benefits. It doesn’t even matter what you do, just walk or swim, the main thing is that physical activity becomes the norm of your life. Then you will certainly feel a change for the better both in general well-being, and in mood, and in appearance.
So we've rounded up some motivating, research-backed facts about the benefits of fitness that we hope will get you on the right path to a healthy lifestyle (and even improve your sex life).
1. Exercising just one hour a day can make a big difference.
The study compared people who exercise for less than 30 minutes a week with those who exercise about seven hours a week. The results showed that the latter group had a 40% lower risk of premature death.
Moreover, the benefits of physical activity are clearly seen in both adults and children. Through exercise, you can reduce weight, as well as reduce the risk of developing various diseases, strengthen bones and muscles, improve the quality of life, including those with chronic diseases and disabilities.
But for all the benefits of physical activity, it is necessary to remember about proper nutrition: all your efforts can go to waste if you eat everything in a row and in unlimited quantities.
2. Regular exercise can improve sleep
Many people find that exercising helps them sleep better. Notably, people who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise sleep better because it reduces the time it takes them to fall asleep and reduces the time they spend awake in bed at night. Physical activity can also reduce daytime fatigue and, in some people, the need for sleeping pills.
Physical activity has long been associated with improved sleep, and evidence is accumulating about the effectiveness of exercise as a non-pharmacological treatment option for sleep disorders. However, recent studies have shown that poor sleep may contribute to reduced levels of physical activity.
Thus, there is a strong relationship between physical activity and sleep.
3. 30% of adults report reduced stress levels after exercise
In the survey, 53% of adults reported feeling good, 35% said they were in a good mood, and 30% said they felt less stressed after exercising.
This means that exercise is a healthy and reasonably effective non-drug tool for relieving stress, reducing depression, and improving cognitive function.
4. Couples who work out together are more likely to stay in a relationship
According to research, couples who work out or participate in sports together report higher levels of overall relationship satisfaction and even greater feelings of love for their partner. In addition, such a pastime allows you to once again be with your loved one, which is important, given the workload and busy schedules of modern people.
5. Stretching Before You Run Can Reduce Your Endurance
The vast majority of people warm up before a run to relax their muscles and prevent injury. According to a recent study, this may not be the best solution. In a test involving experienced runners, those who did static stretching before exercise expended more energy and had lower endurance. Apparently, the best way to relax your joints and muscles without compromising your endurance is to walk lightly.
Studies have shown that this decrease in performance is associated with greater stress relaxation of muscle tissue, which leads to a decrease in musculotendinous stiffness and strength.
6. Swimming is a great form of exercise because it includes both cardio and strength training.
Basically, swimming is a full-body workout. Just 20 minutes in water can burn over 250 calories, almost as many (if not more) than running. Every muscle fiber in your body, from your core to your limbs, is activated while you swim.
No other activity requires such a load on the upper and lower body, but at the same time does not harm the joints. In addition, the anaerobic nature of this sport immediately increases the heart rate, which makes the muscles, including the heart, work more efficiently. Swimming is also a great way to deal with stress.
But if for some reason swimming is not your sport, you can consider water aerobics as an alternative. Firstly, water aerobics classes are not held at depth. And secondly, the exercises are mostly performed in an upright position without swimming or with minimal swimming. This is a great type of strength training.
7. The average person burns about 50 calories every hour while sleeping, and physically fit people burn even more.
Our body continues to use energy while we sleep, as this is the time for the body to heal and replenish. It is estimated that the average person burns approximately 50 calories per hour.
However, the exact number depends on the basal metabolic rate, or BMR (Basic Metabolism, excluding physical activity. In other words, this is the amount of energy needed to maintain basic bodily functions at rest, such as regulating body temperature, maintaining a heartbeat and breathing) person. Since more muscle volume increases BMR, people who exercise regularly burn even more calories than average.
Some people have a higher BMR than others (although this is not usually the cause of obesity or thinness). And BMR can change over time; it may speed up when you are sick or if you gain muscle mass, or it may slow down with age or when you lose weight. In fact, a slowing metabolic rate is one of the reasons dieters find it so difficult to continue to lose weight or tend to gain back the weight they have lost. Certain medical conditions (such as thyroid disorders) and medications can also affect BMR.
By the way, if you want to burn more calories without training, change your daily routine to include more physical activity. For example:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator;
- Park at the far end of the parking lot so that you can walk farther to your destination;
- Use the toilet at the far end of the office, not the one closest to you;
- Take regular breaks during work to stretch and walk;
- While on the phone, lift light weights or walk back and forth;
- Walk faster than usual;
- Instead of sitting somewhere with a colleague or friend, take a walk with him;
- Choose a document printer that is not near your desktop;
- Consider using a desk for standing work.
8. Single people exercise more than married people.
More than 13,000 married Americans exercised about half as much per week as unmarried men, according to the survey. Married women exercised less than unmarried women, though not by as much of a difference.
9. It takes 6-8 weeks for the body to adapt to a training program.
The key to developing an effective exercise program is variety. Changing your workouts can at least keep you from getting bored and keep you motivated to exercise. Diversity also provides significant physiological benefits.
In just six to eight weeks, your body can adjust to a repetitive exercise program. According to University of Florida researchers, people who changed their workouts every few weeks felt more satisfied and motivated.
10. Dancing is a great alternative to working out.
The best exercise is the one you can inspire yourself to do. Dancing makes staying active easier and more fun. In addition, it also strengthens the cardiovascular system, like jogging or cycling.
In addition to being a great way to improve your fitness and health as it develops strength, flexibility, coordination and balance to varying degrees, it is also great for developing social skills, thereby improving your mental health, and this is something you can do from an early age. age and even after retirement.
11. Exercise can be therapy for those suffering from depression.
Antidepressants are often used to treat depression (one in ten people in the United States, for example). But drugs are not the only option. According to research, exercise has also proven to be therapeutic. Activities that have a beneficial effect on a person with depression include walking, jogging, as well as strength training, exercises aimed at relaxation, increasing coordination and flexibility.
Age, ability, ethnicity, body shape, or size don't matter when it comes to the health benefits of physical activity. Any person who spends less time sitting and instead engages in moderate-to-intense exercise will benefit from it, even if the benefits are not obvious or not immediately apparent.
Few lifestyle choices have the same impact on your health as physical activity.
13. Even 10 minutes of exercise will help you become healthier and leaner.
Compared to controls, overweight or obese women, who are usually sedentary, improved their cardiovascular health by walking just 10-15 minutes each day.
In a separate study of sedentary men, cycling for 10 minutes at a moderate pace followed by 1 minute at a high intensity was found to have the same effect on their oxygen uptake as the group who Worked out for 50 minutes at a moderate pace.
After the 12-week study, both groups had similar fitness scores and outperformed the control group. These results support the idea that even short exercise can improve your health, especially if you're not already active.
14. Regular strength training increases the number of calories burned throughout the day.
Studies examining the exact calorie expenditure in muscle versus fat are rare because getting accurate measurements would be difficult. However, one study found that muscle accounts for about 20% of the total calories you burn daily, while fat accounts for only 5%.
According to another study that examined sedentary adult women, resistance exercise increased their basal metabolic rate (BMR) for up to 48 hours.
15. Music can improve your training performance.
The body of research on the use of music during exercise has grown significantly over the past decade, helping psychologists better understand why exercise and music are such a powerful combination for many people.
Music improves mood, reduces perceived effort, increases stamina, distracts attention from pain and fatigue, and can even stimulate metabolic efficiency. People run or ride further and swim faster while listening to music - often without even realizing it. In fact, research has shown that runners who listened to upbeat music throughout their run completed it faster than those who didn't.
16. Women tend to burn more fat during a workout, while men burn more after a workout.
Research shows that there is a difference in how men and women burn fat. In one study in which participants ran on a treadmill for 90 minutes at 63 percent of their maximum speed, women were found to burn much more fat than men.
This indicates that women use muscle fat stores for energy more efficiently than men.
17. Exercise can greatly improve your sex life.
Physical exercise increases testosterone levels, therefore increasing libido and improving athletic performance, which leads to greater endurance and can ultimately lead to significant improvements in sex life.
Other than that, sex itself is a great form of exercise. According to research, during sex, men burn approximately 4.2 calories every minute, or an average of 101 calories, while women burn 3.2 calories every minute, or an average of 69 calories.
18. You use approximately 200 muscles when you take one step.
200 muscles coordinate to lift your leg, move it forward, and then lower it with every step you take. The muscular system, which consists of more than 650 muscles and covers the entire body, is responsible for thousands of bodily functions, thanks to which we blink, smile, run, jump and stand up straight.
19. Dehydration impairs your physical performance.
The body needs water to function. Your body temperature, blood flow and muscle contractions are all controlled by it. All of these are critical to an effective workout. If you exercise without drinking enough water, you will get tired faster and achieve worse results.
20. An active lifestyle can reduce the risk of cancer.
Exercise promotes hormonal balance and healthy weight management. Therefore, those who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing multiple types of cancer.
According to cancer research, increased physical activity is associated with a lower risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon, endometrial, and possibly pancreatic cancer.
21. Endorphins released during exercise provide a burst of energy
You may think that you will feel more exhausted after your workout. Physically, this is often the case, but anyone who has ever experienced a "runner's high" will attest that it also gives you a boost of energy. This post-workout bliss is due to endorphins, brain chemicals that reduce the perception of pain and increase good emotions.
22. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and controlled with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Regular physical activity has been found to improve blood glucose control, may prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes (by 58% in high-risk groups), and have positive effects on lipid levels, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, mortality, and quality of life. life.
23. Just doing crunches won't shrink your belly.
Ab exercises can help you appear leaner by strengthening your core muscles. However, basic exercises alone will not get rid of stubborn belly fat. According to research, cardiovascular-boosting activities such as brisk walking, running, and cycling for 20-40 minutes daily can help you lose weight at the waist.
For reference: There are two types of fat in our body - subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is located just under the skin and can be grasped with the hand. Abdominal fat is called visceral fat and is found deeper in the abdomen. Visceral fat, which envelops the abdominal organs, has a direct impact on health. For example, it can negatively affect how the body responds to insulin, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. It can also cause high cholesterol and heart disease. That is why what is around your waist is more important than the numbers that the scale shows.
And while you can't control your genetic make-up, which can contribute to excess fat, you can control what you eat and how much you move. A combination of diet and exercise will help keep belly fat to a minimum.
24. Gardening is a medium-intensity activity.
It is a mistake to think that lifting weights is the only way to build muscle. In fact, there are many different ways to increase strength without lifting weights. One of them is gardening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers gardening a medium-intensity activity. In fact, just 30-45 minutes spent in the garden can burn up to 300 calories.
And, of course, do not forget that gardening is good for mental health.
Thus, one of the therapies aimed at treating the whole person and well studied in surveys and randomized trials is the so-called green space care, or therapy using plants and gardening. Several trials have shown positive effects on mood and mental health from simply observing nature or even images of natural scenes. In a Japanese study, plant contemplation altered EEG recordings and reduced stress, fear, anger, and sadness, as well as reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.
What's more, in a groundbreaking randomized trial by environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich, plant and tree species from recovery rooms improved patients' mood, reduced analgesic use, surgical complications, and length of hospital stay.
25. Scheduling rest days gives your body the time it needs to recover and improve.
Just as important as exercising is knowing when to rest. Excessive exercise can lead to injury, fatigue, and depression. In some cases, certain physical injuries can remain for life.
In addition, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) states that depriving the body of rest can lead to inadequate levels of muscle glycogen. The body may begin to use proteins for fuel due to this depletion, which reduces the amount of protein available to support muscle growth and recovery.
In addition, do not forget that exercise is a physical load placed on the body. The type of exercises and their number determine the specific changes that will occur in it. For exercise to have the maximum effect and bring about the desired changes, the type of exercise and intensity level must be changed regularly.
Alternating low, medium, and high intensity workouts, known as periodization, provides different methods for structuring your workout.
Perhaps the most important component of periodization is proper rest and recovery time between hard or high-intensity workouts.
26. Parents who exercise regularly set a good example for their children.
Being active is one of the best ways for parents to get their kids to play sports. According to the study, children of active parents were 5.8 times more likely to be active than children of inactive parents.
27. Eat Protein Before Your Workout to Maximize Muscle Gain
Numerous studies have shown that pre-workout protein intake can improve athletic performance. In one study, protein intake (alone or with carbohydrates) before exercise was found to improve muscle protein synthesis.
Another small study found that taking 25 grams of whey protein before exercise increased whole-body anabolism, or muscle growth, compared to taking a placebo.
28. People who exercise regularly have higher levels of vitamin D
According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), those who actively exercise have higher levels of vitamin D and HDL (good) cholesterol. Probably the reason is that they are more on the street. People who exercise often spend more time outdoors in the sun, thereby increasing their vitamin D levels.
29. Half of newbies leave the gym in the first six months.
According to a 2019 IHRSA report, among those who started going to the gym during the New Year holidays, 4% stopped going to the gym by the end of January, 14% by the end of February, and 50% within the next six months.
30. Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
According to an extensive study of over 200,000 skiers, physical activity halved the likelihood of long-term clinical anxiety. Although the Swedish study focused on skiing, the researchers concluded that almost any cardiovascular exercise can help protect us from excessive stress and fear.
31. People spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year buying gym memberships and end up not going to them.
In 2022, about 6.1 million Americans lost $397 million due to gym memberships, according to a recent poll. Of those who attended classes, 7.4% did so only once a month or less.
32. Only one in five children in the world gets enough exercise.
The first such study showed that four out of five adolescents aged 11 to 17 worldwide do not exercise enough. A survey in 146 countries (with the exception of four) showed that boys are more active than girls. Compared to 78% of boys, a staggering 85% of girls are not physically active enough.
33. Teens who play sports reduce their risk of developing a brain tumor by a third compared to those who don't.
Nearly 80% of brain and central nervous system tumors are gliomas, the most common type of brain cancer. Although the origin of glioma is poorly understood, some evidence points to the possibility that exposure at an early age may contribute to the development of the disease. Childhood and adolescence are periods of rapid brain development, which can make it more receptive during these years to environmental influences.
34. Men have two-thirds more muscle mass than women.
Women often have less total muscle mass than men in absolute and relative terms. Differences in lean body mass between the sexes first appear sometime around puberty and persist for the rest of your life.
And while long-term strength training increases muscle mass in both sexes regardless of age, men who engage in intense strength training can develop total muscle mass more than twice as much as women.
35. Men and women store fat differently.
Girls gain weight almost twice as fast as boys during a growth spurt during adolescence, characterized by increasing numbers of fat cells. Fat is mainly present in the gluteofemoral region, including the pelvis, buttocks and thighs, and also in the breasts. Changes in female hormone levels are primarily responsible for this overall increase in body fat, especially sex-specific fat.
36. Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure.
Studies show that sweating can lead to lower blood pressure hours after intense exercise.
There is also strong evidence that this type of exercise lowers blood pressure by about 4 mmHg. However, the drop in blood pressure after exercise is usually temporary unless you exercise regularly.
37. Regular exercise can help reduce the size of fat cells.
Because the components of one cell type and another are different, fat cells cannot transform into muscle cells. However, your muscles get bigger when you exercise, and the energy you expend during exercise leads to a reduction in fat cells. Therefore, regular exercise can lead to an overall reduction in adipose tissue mass.
38. Only 11% of people who lose weight manage to maintain weight through diet alone.
According to the National Weight Management Registry, 89% of people who combine diet and exercise can maintain weight loss for more than a year.
But is it possible to achieve what you want using only one of these tools? Many people choose the easier path, which they think is diet. But given how poor the statistics are on long-term weight loss through diets, you need to consider a combination of both. Typically, only a tiny percentage of dieters successfully maintain weight, and weight cycling is very common. Typically, one-third of the weight lost is regained within one year, and almost all of the weight is regained within three to five years.
39. Muscle mass decreases by about 3-8% every decade after age 30
Sarcopenia, the involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength and function, is one of the most visible symptoms of aging. After age 30, muscle mass decreases by about 3-8% every decade. After 60 years, the rate of decline is even higher.
40. There is about a 40% difference in calories burned when running and walking the same distance.
Walking and running burn about the same number of calories at the same pace. However, most people can run at least twice the speed of walking.
According to a Harvard study, a 155-pound (70.3 kg) person running 9 minutes per mile (1.6 km, a very common training pace) burns approximately 122 calories per mile. 85 calories burned per mile by the same person jogging fast at 17 minutes per mile. According to this information, running burns about 40% more calories than walking.
41. Core includes any muscles that attach to the pelvis, spine, and ribs.
Core training is often associated with working out its most prominent part: the abs. However, the "core" includes several muscle groups, not just one. Core training can do more for you than just abs (although that's a nice bonus); it can also increase your body's overall strength, power, and athleticism and reduce your chance of injury. According to Sports MD, up to 35 separate muscle groups connect to the pelvis from the spine and hip to make up the core.
42. Exercise is important from a young age.
According to research, sedentary children are more likely to become sedentary adults, which increases the likelihood of young people developing serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. This is why it is so important to encourage good physical fitness and activity from an early age.
43. Weightlifting usually does not lead to weight gain in women.
The idea that lifting heavy weights will result in a powerful physique is a widespread myth, especially among women. Weightlifting does promote muscle hypertrophy, which leads to size gains.
However, it is not true that this leads to a "cumbersome" appearance. The hormonal profile of women is different from that of men; thus, they will not be able to gain weight like men. In men, testosterone levels are higher, which promotes muscle growth. Fortunately and unfortunately, women's hormonal background does not allow them to lose all the desired fat as quickly as men, although if they can tone themselves without becoming bulky.
44. Only a third of adults follow the weekly minimum recommendations for physical activity.
For example, to make matters worse, less than 5% of US adults are physically active for at least 30 minutes every day, and about one in four are not active at all. All things considered, more than 80% of people do not follow recommendations for aerobic and strength training.
45. Sitting and smoking are not the same thing, but both are harmful
This famous saying was based on a 2010 study that showed that those who sat for more than six hours a day had a higher mortality rate.
The risk of chronic diseases can be increased if you lead an extremely sedentary lifestyle, but not as much as if you smoke. It also matters what you do when you sit. Working at a computer, as opposed to simply watching TV, is a pleasure.
46. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles necessary for the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system.
Physical activity is an important aspect of a healthy heart. In addition to strengthening heart muscle and controlling weight, it is one of the best ways to protect arteries from damage caused by excess cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
47. People who work out with a partner are more likely to stick to their fitness regimen.
Need some extra motivation to get started? Consider bringing in a partner. There are many ways to train with friends and other workout enthusiasts in person or online. And research shows that social support can actually improve your workout results. Just being around friends who play sports can inspire you to stay active.
48. It takes 8-12 weeks of a training regimen before you start to notice measurable changes in your body.
While a person's genetics and fitness level greatly influence how quickly a person notices benefits from exercise, most people see first improvements within four to six weeks, with actual results eight to twelve. Also, no two people approach exercise with the same intentions, so the typical timeframe in which any type of effect can be seen (8 to 12 weeks) is quite flexible.
49. Optimal fitness requires a balanced exercise program that includes cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises.
These three types of exercise have different positive effects on health and longevity. Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and oxygenates your body, which is good for your heart and brain. Strength training increases muscle mass, which helps burn fat. They also support cognitive function. Flexibility is essential to easily carry out everyday tasks.
50. Goal setting has been proven to help you stick to your workout program.
It is incredibly effective to have a process goal instead of a result goal. So, instead of phrasing it like "I want to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg)", it would be much more useful to set a goal like "I want to exercise four times a week."
51. People aged 18-44 are most often involved in sports
According to the study, people between the ages of 18 and 44 are most likely to play sports. 59.7% of people aged 18 to 44 reported exercising at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes.
52. Studies have shown that fitness influencers influence the health behavior of young women
Due to their popularity and huge user base, social media has quickly become one of the most important communication channels in the healthcare industry. Numerous studies have examined the use of social media for interventions to change the health habits of various user groups.
A study involving Polish women aged 18 to 35 found that fitness websites play a potentially important role in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
53. Aerobic exercise is linked to better memory
The volume of the hippocampus in your brain increases as a result of aerobic exercise. According to a controlled study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it may reduce cognitive impairment in older people at risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
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