The Malta Independent 30 September 2022, Friday
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Sport plays vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle: impact of physical activity on health

Thursday, 11 February 2021, 07:20 Last update: about 3 years ago

Graham Bencini

Leading an active lifestyle has never been as important as it is today.

We are in the midst of a pandemic, where many people are working from home, or are spending most of their time inside their homes to avoid contracting the virus. This has brought about a new shift in our lifestyle.

There’s no doubt that staying inactive will have ill effects on our health. Even without the pandemic, it was always important to lead an active lifestyle through sport, especially since Malta has a high rate of obesity, which in turn brings about several illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and the risk of stroke, among others.

Playing a sport and working out not only help us physically, but also mentally and instils a sense of discipline.

As a former footballer, having had the honour to play for various leading football clubs and for the national team, I only have words of praise for all those involved who gave me a push and the opportunity to lead an active lifestyle.

At the end of the day, it is up to us, as individuals, to take up a sport and that is the road I chose and the reason why I am sharing my experience – to encourage others to take up a sport for the benefit of their health.

A sedentary lifestyle will lead to poor health outcomes as opposed to individuals who are active, as not only are we likely to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease through physical activity, but also obesity.

Maintaining a good mental state is also very important and something one shouldn’t take for granted. Sport plays a vital role in reducing mental health-related illnesses.

In a world where technology is taking over, it is unfortunate to see so many children spend hours on end on electronic devices, wasting their time playing games when they can easily replace those hours playing outdoors instead. We parents do not realise that we are encouraging our kids to spend so much time glued to screens.

For us adults, we also seem to spend ample hours browsing through social media or spending time in front of a computer at work.

Falling into our comfort zone is easy after a day’s work. Working parents have to care for their children after school and time is of the essence. But finding time for a workout should be important. If we do not care for ourselves first, we cannot care for our children. The same goes for our children, caring for them also means getting them to take up a sport.

Don’t let another day pass with the excuse that you would start tomorrow. You may feel tired before beginning to train, but you will end up with more energy when you finish. Engage in a sport discipline you like or get a tailor-made programme drawn up for you, along with a healthy diet plan. Once you start, you won’t stop. Reading this article means you are only one step away from starting today.

I am a firm believer that we politicians are not only here to discuss and implement new policies and legislation, but also to encourage a better quality of life for all citizens through such means.

The author is a new PN candidate contesting on the 9th and 10th districts. He is the President of the Forum Professjonisti PN and a member of the PN Executive Committee.

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