Physical Activity

Along with proper nutrition, it is shown that the right amount of physical activity is essential for the prevention and health.

The benefits of physical activity are numerous and emerge more and more aware of all scientific research.
Physical activity not only helps to maintain a state of general wellbeing of the body and mind, but considerably reduces the risk of some serious chronic diseases. In one of his numerous articles on the benefits of physical activity, Ken Fox from Bristol University, analyzed several studies showing that the moderately active people, especially in the second and third part of life, have twice the chance of avoiding a premature death and contracting serious diseases. The protective effect, in fact, is equivalent to that to avoid smoking.

The benefits of physical activity

As we have seen in previous volumes, the benefits of being physically active are many.

Reduced risk of obesity

A reduction in levels of physical activity is a major factor in the increase of obesity. Many studies show the benefits of an active lifestyle and in good physical shape for obesity prevention. In particular, physical activity seems to protect from the increase in weight of the typical middle-aged.

Lower risk of heart disease

People who lead an active lifestyle and a moderate level of fitness are 50% less likely to develop heart disease than those who do not perform any physical activity.


The lack of physical activity can be a risk factor for developing insulin-resistant diabetes development. Very active individuals have a 35-50% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. And in people with diabetes, exercise has been shown to contribute significantly to the control of blood sugar levels.

Reduced risk of cancer

Perform physical activity is moderate to strong it reduces the risk of colon cancer, colorectal, lung and breast.

Health of bones and muscles

A constant exercise leads to stronger muscles, tendons and ligaments stronger and increased bone density. The exercises in which they must support the weight of the body (such as skating, running, dancing) have been shown to improve bone density in adolescents and slow the loss of bone mass that normally occurs with advancing age (osteoporosis ).

Mental health

Numerous studies show that physical activity improves psychological well-being, the way we deal with stress and mental functioning (such as the ability to make decisions and plan, as well as short-term memory), reduces anxiety and promotes a healthy sleep patterns. The clinical trial evidence shows that exercise can be helpful in treating depression. In older people, physical activity can help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

How much exercise do we need?

The new recommendations from England and the USA are for regular bouts of physical activity at moderate levels of intensity. For example, a 30-minute stroll to conduct sustained speed all, or nearly all, days of the week, will help to improve the well-being both physically and mentally.

Constitutional Types and exercise

In general, users of centers where you do physical activities could be divided into three types:

1 – thin and slender person with the aim of increasing muscle mass;
2 – subject overweight with the aim to reduce fat mass;
3 – subject in the form that still want to improve their body composition thus reduce body fat and increase muscle mass.

Change the power supply is essential for anyone who wants to achieve good results, albeit at an amateur level, as part of the preparation for physical activity, and change their habits must be calibrated differently according to their type of subject and the results you want to reach.

1. Subject slim and slender

Often, those who are not satisfied with their condition so thin and slender think that only training with the overload of weights can increase muscle size. Sometimes this can happen, sometimes, in spite of the exercises are well designed and well executed, the results are not seen; in this case it is possible that the growth of muscles does not happen because you are not taking adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates. In fact, if what you normally eat enough to keep our weight and our muscle structure, in order to grow we must increase the supply of energy especially in terms of carbohydrates and protein, “brick” fundamentals of building muscle.
What should eat then?
First you need to simply eat more. Then this “more” is selected from among the right foods. As for carbohydrates we need to increase the intake of grains (pasta, rice, spelled, millet, barley etc.), Potatoes, preferably wholemeal bread, fruit. As for the proteins we need to increase the intake of egg whites, white meat, fish, soy products (tofu, yogurt).
Certainly you should not miss a hearty vegetable intake. In this way we will give a stimulus to the muscles in the gym to grow.
Unlike tonificheremo only the muscles awakening the fibers that were ipotrofizzate due to the failure to use and / or sedentary life: let us remember in this regard that “the function develops the organ”.

2. Subject overweight

Overweight individuals are often rightly pushed to do aerobic activities assisted by muscle exercises with mild overload in order to tone muscles and increase the basal metabolic rate. This strategy can be successful in many cases, but be careful, because the increase of physical activity take these people accompany a rise in calories by limiting, or even so frustrating results. It is essential in these cases to limit in particular the high-glycemic foods, saturated fats and tightly control the amount of calories in general.
We shall see later that the high-glycemic foods have a very fast metabolism and immediately are accumulated as fat.

3. Subject in the form

who want to improve their body composition. It is a subject satisfied with their body and without major health problems, which means that his power is already in the right ratios. The movement and physical activity will further improve the situation.
Individuals in this category are the lucky ones because they can get very good results from their efforts in the gym or in exercise choice, without changing their eating habits, so without special waivers or stress.


Note: For an example of a high-calorie diet, which is useful for increasing muscle mass, refer to the third chapter of this volume, the part devoted to practical examples of diets.