Mercy Health would like to encourage you to care for yourself and your loved ones by reminding you of the importance of regular physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity can take many forms. Walking is one of those activities that you can choose from that will improve your well-being and help you live a healthier life. That’s why we encourage you to take a walk or engage in another physical activity of your choice.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that regular physical activity can help:
- Improve your mental health and mood.
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- Reduce your risk of some cancers.
- Strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Control your weight.
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult.
- Increase your chances of living healthier longer.
In addition to positively affecting your physical health, fitness activities have a great impact on your spiritual health:
- A walk through nature — with the intention of communing with God or one’s Higher Power — combines physical exercise and spiritual nourishment into one activity.
- Yoga combines physical postures and movements, while focusing on deep breathing and spiritual truths. You may find some instructors or types of yoga more compatible with your faith background than others.
- Avid joggers will often talk about the “high” they feel from vigorous exercise. This is the body’s natural way to take care of itself through “natural pain killers” or “endorphins.”
As human beings, we are integrated and inseparable in body, mind and soul. Caring for one dimension of our being (e.g., physical activity) promotes healing in all areas of our health. We feel better, are less stressed, find life more purposeful and are more thankful.
Even if you have not participated regularly in fitness activities, the CDC says that starting out with a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, will offer health benefits. If you have any concerns about starting a fitness program, remember to check with your doctor.