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The benefits of exercise on social health

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

What is exercise?

Exercise involves engaging in physical activity and increasing the heart rate and your breathing rate beyond resting levels. This does not necessarily mean that a person needs to spend long periods of time in the gym but rather, it can be included in everyday life. For example walking to and from school/work, cycling, taking the stairs instead of the lift.

What is the recommended amount of exercise a person should do?

The UK government recommends that adults should aim to do 30 minutes of exercise five or more days per week and children and young people should do around 60 minutes every day.

Why is exercise important?

Exercise is an important part of preserving physical, emotional and social health. Keeping physically active can prevent major illnesses and is the basis for a healthier lifestyle. Apart from the many physical benefits exercise can bring, exercise has been shown to help improve emotional and social health also.

What are the benefits of exercise on a person's social health?

A person's social health can be improved by leading an active life. Exercise has many benefits on a person's social health. These include:

  • being more active and having more energy. This helps a person develop friendships as they can arrange to go running/walking together or attend the gym together.

  • helping the person meet and make new friends, especially if they join a sports team, gym or exercise class.

  • getting opportunities to form relationships with like-minded people who enjoy exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

  • making friends or exercising with others which can give a person a sense of belonging and contribute to a more socially healthy person.

  • improving a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence because they feel good about themselves as they feel fit and healthy and so enjoy exercising with other people.

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