Photo credit: Verena Illmer
n the current situation sport and exercise are more important than ever!
Due to the current Corona/Covid 19 pandemic, there are calls everywhere to stay at home. In some countries, going outside and thus doing sports is practically forbidden. However, encaged in their home office, many people feel motivated to take their daily sporty break. This is especially true as normal everyday life sporting activities have come to a virtual standstill. Furthermore, some people are only now developing a stronger feeling for sporting activities. This is good, because it is a proven fact that sporting activity promotes health!
• Sport and exercise ensure a positive state of mind and increase physical and mental well-being. Because during physical activity the body produces the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine. Combined with fresh air and warming sun rays, the effect is intensified.
• Through scientific evidence and practical experience, we know that sport also has an influence on stress hormones such as cortisol and thus helps to reduce stress.
• Numerous studies point to a better quality of sleep after sport. Furthermore, also the time it takes to fall asleep is significantly reduced. In contrast, intensive training units too late in the evening make it more difficult to fall asleep! Improved sleep also has a positive effect on the immune system and stress reduction.
• The immune system is strengthened by activating the cardiovascular system and moderate training.
• The best researched health effect of sport on our body is the strengthening of the cardiovascular system. It has been proven that a lack of exercise and cardiovascular diseases correlate negatively.
• Whether we access energy from food or from our energy stores in the body, regular training improves the metabolism and helps to make our energy metabolism more efficient. It also increases our basal metabolic rate even when we are at rest and without exercise. This is because fat reserves are reduced, and more muscle mass is built up.
• Older people particularly benefit from regular, daily activities that prevent the degeneration of the muscles. In the course of life, muscles and bones become weaker. The heart rate decreases, and concomitantly, oxygen supply as well. In addition to endurance activity, strength training and a diet with sufficient protein are particularly important in counteracting this process.
Author: Yvonne Forster
dipl. eng. food sciences UAS
dipl. dietitian HS