What are the benefits of physical activity? 

​運動有什麼好處?

Physical health benefits

  • Reduced risk of some diseases. For example, health experts suggest that being more active can reduce your risk of developing a stroke or heart disease by 10%, and type 2 diabetes by 30–40%.

  • Reduced risk of physical health problems as our bodies adapt to stress. As we become fitter, our bodies can better regulate our cortisol levels. Cortisol is a ‘stress hormone’ that our bodies release in response to anxiety; over prolonged periods, higher cortisol levels have been linked to a wide range of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, a lowered immune response, as well as depression and anxiety.

  • Healthier organs. When you're active your body is working more, which is good for your organs. For example, a stronger heart will help you have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

  • Healthier bones. Weight-bearing exercises will strengthen your bones and build your muscle, which can reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis.

  • Healthier weight. If you're overweight, becoming more active can help you start to reduce body fat as your stamina and fitness levels improve.

  • More energy. As your body adapts to increased activity levels you get a natural energy boost, which can make you feel less tired. Researchers say that even low intensity levels of activity can be beneficial if you usually feel very fatigued.

  • Improved sleep. Many people find they are able to sleep better at night after having been more active during the day.

身體健康上的好處

  • 減少患上一些疾病的風險。例如,健康專家建議多參與運動能減低中風或患上心臟疾病的風險10%,以及患上2型糖尿病風險達30-40%。

  • 因身體習慣承受壓力而減少患上一些身體健康問題的風險。當我們變得更健康時,我們的身體會較容易控制我們的皮質醇濃度。皮質醇可稱為「壓力荷爾蒙」,是當我們面對焦慮時身體自然產生的荷爾蒙。經過一段長時間後,較高的皮質醇濃度與很多健康問題有關,包括心臟疾病、高血壓、免疫力下降、以及抑鬱和焦慮。

  • 更健康的身體器官。做運動時,我們的身體更活躍,這將會對我們的身體器官有益。例如,一個強壯的心臟會幫助我們降低膽固醇和血壓。

  • 骨骼更健康。負重運動能加強我們的骨骼和增強肌肉,從而減少我們患上骨質疏鬆的機會。

  • 控制體重。如果體重過重,多做運動有助提升耐力和身體質素,從而幫助你開始減重。

  • 提升睡眠質素。很多人發現他們在做提高運動量後有較好的睡眠質素。

Mental health benefits

  • Reduced anxiety and happier moods. When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (sometimes called ‘feel good’ hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood.

  • Reduced feelings of stress. You may experience reductions in feelings of stress and tension as your body is better able to control cortisol levels.

  • Clearer thinking. Some people find that exercise helps to break up racing thoughts. As your body tires so does your mind, leaving you calmer and better able to think clearly.

  • A greater sense of calm. Simply taking time out to exercise can give you space to think things over and help your mind feel calmer.

  • Increased self-esteem. When you start to see your fitness levels increase and your body improve, it can give your self-esteem a big boost. The sense of achievement you get from learning new skills and achieving your goals can also help you feel better about yourself and lift your mood. Improved self-esteem also has a protective effect that increases life satisfaction and can make you more resilient to feeling stressed.

  • Reduced risk of depression. If you're more active there’s good evidence to suggest that at most ages, for both men and women, there's a trend towards lower rates of depression. In fact one study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.

 

Exercise as a treatment for depression

If you have a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression, your GP might suggest you do some exercise to help lift your mood. This is because regular exercise can be more effective at treating mild to moderate depression than taking antidepressants. Your GP might even give you a prescription for exercise, and refer you to a specific programme at a local gym or health centre.

In exercise treatment programmes the sessions usually last from 45 minutes to 1 hour, and you'd be invited to attend at least three times a week over a 10–14 week period. This is because exercise is thought to be most effective if you're able to manage the equivalent of five 30-minute sessions of moderate intensity activity each week (the same as the current NHS guidelines for healthy physical activity). It's also more likely to work for you if you choose exercise that you find enjoyable and that gives you a sense of accomplishment.

對精神健康的好處

  • 減少焦慮和更快樂。當我們做運動時,我們的腦部化學物質會釋放安多酚而改變 (有時候被稱為「快樂荷爾蒙」),有助減少焦慮及改善心情。

  • 減輕壓力。當我們的身體能更好地控制皮質醇水平時,我們可能會感受到自己的壓力減輕了些。

  • 頭腦更清晰。有些人發現做運動能中斷雜亂的思緒。當你身體感到疲倦時,你的思緒亦然,讓你變得更冷靜和更容易清晰地思考。

  • 更冷靜的感覺。抽一些時間做運動能使我們有思考的空間和令我們有更冷靜的思緒。

  • 增強自尊感。當我們的開始見到自己的健康程度提升和身體變得更好,我們的自尊感會大大提升。學習新技能和達到自己的目標所帶來的成就感會令我們的自我感覺更好和改善心情。擁有更高的自尊感可以增加生活滿意度及面對壓力的適應能力的保護作用。

  • 減低抑鬱症的風險。有很多研究指出大多數年齡,不論男女,做更多運動有降低抑鬱症的趨勢。事實上,有研究指出,由完全不做運動增加至最少一個星期運動三次能減少抑鬱症風險接近20%。

以運動作為抑鬱症的治療

如果你被診斷擁有輕度至中度抑鬱症,你的家庭醫生可能會建議你做一些運動去改善心情。這是因為恆常運動比服用抗抑鬱藥更有效治療輕度至中度抑鬱。你的家庭醫生甚至會處方運動作為治療,並轉介你至本地的健身室或健康中心進行某個運動計劃。

通常一節運動治療時長四十五分鐘至一個小時,並在十至十四星期期間參與最少一星期三次。這是因為每星期維持五次三十分鐘的中度運動能讓運動發揮最大效果(與英國國民保健署對健康運動的指引一樣)。選擇你所享受和為你帶來成就感的運動將會更有效。

Social and emotional benefits

  • Making friends and connecting with people. Being around other people is good for our mental health and social networks – plus you can maximise the benefits of exercising by doing it with other people. You may find that the social benefits are just as important as the physical ones.

  • Having fun. Lots of us enjoy being active because it’s fun. Researchers have shown that there’s a link between the things we enjoy doing and improvements in our wellbeing overall. If you enjoy an activity you’re also more likely to keep doing it.

  • Challenging stigma and discrimination. Some people find that joining a sport programme helps reduce the stigma attached to their mental health problem. Getting involved in local projects with other people who share a common interest can be a great way to break down barriers and challenge discrimination

社交及情緒上的好處

  • 認識新朋友和與他人保持聯繫。與他人相處對我們的精神健康和社交網絡有益,再加上與其他人一起做運動的好處。你可能會發現社交上的好處和對身體的好處一樣重要。

  • 玩得開心。我們因為覺得開心而享受運動。研究學者證實我們做一些自己享受的事情與整體健康有關聯。當你享受一樣活動時,你會更樂意繼續參與。

  • 挑戰污名和歧視。有些人發現參加一項體育項目能幫助減輕有關他們的精神健康問題的污名。與一些擁有共同興趣的人參與本地項目可以成為一個打破污名和挑戰歧視的好方法。

*Content courtesy of Mind UK 

​*內容由 Mind UK 提供

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