The Human Body Loves to Play

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The body is a tool that needs to be consistently trained to stay in top shape. From birth to the age of eighteen in many first world countries education and play is a must. School is a common theme where children across the globe are constantly training their minds and bodies. As time goes on, however it becomes much tougher to keep your mind and body healthy and in good shape. All human’s minds and bodies decay at one point or another usually due to age or disease. The question has been asked by people in all different professions how do I live a longer, happier and healthier life? This question has been asked by so many since the beginning of time because life is so valued among society and there is only one life, one mind and one body that the human race is afforded. There have been many medical advances of course in keeping the body healthier for longer, but they have the potential to be very expensive.

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Columbia Broadcasting System did a report for their popular television show 60 Minutes back in 2009 on just how expensive medical advancements can be and they found that keeping people alive for an extra two months cost Medicare fifty billion dollars in just one year and it was estimated that twenty to thirty percent of the costs for that medical care had no effect on the patient’s life at all. Still the human race consistently looks for how to live longer and will pay large sums of money for this medical attention. All this time money and effort for extra life when there has been consistent research on an answer that has cost not nearly as much all this time and many of these studies have found that there are positive benefits to this activity that any person can do in their daily life. The act of enjoying movement with physical activity, play and exercise has been under constant research over the past forty years in particular what it’s benefits for the human body are. Studies conducted from universities, highly esteemed doctors and national organizations have shown that playing and being active can help people in many different and unique ways. Some of the ways that have been most prominent are physical health, the mental state of the brain after having finished playing or exercising and cognitive ability. Being overweight has become a large problem in America for a while. We are one of the largest and most overweight countries in the world. Physical play and exercise are one of the main ways to combat obesity. Physical activity is good for your health in many ways. A study done by the University of British Columbia found that increasing the levels of regular exercise completed by women and men who were middle aged decreased their levels and risk of death around twenty to thirty-five percent. Men and women who were less active had an almost thirty percent higher chance of death through cancer than those exercised regularly as well. These two results from the studies showed how exercise and play is good for all types of middle-aged men and women.

The risk however switched in the study showing that people who exercised more regularly had a much higher chance of receiving cardiovascular disease, but their premature death rate was substantially lower than the other group and it also confirmed that those who did not exercise regularly and were more sedentary had no risk factors for cardiovascular disease because they are not moving, but their risk for the other diseases were much higher. The risks for the cardiovascular disease most definitely outweighed the risks of not moving at all and receiving the other diseases by a vast amount. Another observation that the study showed was that any increase in physical activity substantially decrease the risk of disease. One of their most interesting findings was that when comparing with someone who maintained fitness over five years compared to the person that was sedentary over those five years they found that there was a reduction of forty-four percent in their relative risk of death compared to the person who remained motionless and unfit. Being active does not have to be akin to just those who are already healthy. When looking at people with people with diabetes University of California San Francisco decided to try to add aerobic exercise for about thirty minutes every day into their lifestyle. The results for their overall health were nothing short of stupendous. Their insulin sensitivity worked better, it lowered their blood sugar, they reduced their body fat, they lowered their risk for heart disease, they got more flexible, they started to build muscle and they improved their blood circulation. Research has shown that playing and being active have so many helpful benefits to many different groups of people. From the healthy to the sick, the young to the old, and everything in between research has made play be recognized in society as a more prevalent way of being healthy for everybody not just children. Play has been shown to have tremendous effects on physical health, but that is nothing truly new to conceptualize.

The normal eye can see that being more active has a better effect on your body, but the normal eye may not always be able to see how play has an effect on your and how it works with thinking and using your, but also your mental health and if you are happier or more joyful after playing. Mental health is an area that has recently been more looked at in a major problem in America. People across the country have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bi-polar disease to name a few of the main issue diseases. Newsweek reported that almost twenty percent of American adults have suffered of are suffering from some sort of mental health illness. When doing research on schizophrenia the Physicians. Postgraudate Press Inc. found that physical activity helped deal with mental illness quite a bit. In a test that they did they had patients who suffered from schizophrenia walk thirty minutes every day for three months and then come back and report the benefits. The benefits included: improvements in weight control, reported increased fitness levels, exercise tolerance, reduced blood pressure levels, increased perceived energy levels and increase upper body and hand strength levels.

The study also recommended that mental health doctors in particular relay information to their patients stating that they will have improved sleep, improved interested in sex, better endurance, stress relief, improvement in their mood, increase energy and stamina, reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness, weight reduction and reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness. All of these benefits were proven to help combat the mental illness of schizophrenia. One of the reasons why physical activity is so highly thought of is because the physical activity and play sends out happy endorphins into the brain which can help many people who are suffering from depression as well. An American Addiction Center Resource recently sent out a number that as much as fifteen percent of Americans will suffer from depression at some point in their life and as much as twenty-five percent of adolescents will feel some type of depression by the time that they turn eighteen. Harvard Health also did another study on the effects of working out and combatting depression.

They also found out many positive effects of working out or playing. They learned that low intensity exercise that is consistently maintained over time has the usual physical health benefits that were also found in the other studies that have been looked at, but they found something new that may have been even better for the body which was the, “release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. ” This new connection of nerve cells is beneficial because it helps you feel better by making the hippocampus in the brain which is the part of the brain that controls your overall mood smaller and by making the hippocampus smaller it makes it a lot easier to be more joyful in your everyday life especially after working out because your brain is forced to make new nerve cell connections. One of the questions that has been asked by many studies are what do the elderly not do as much as children that allows the children to live such a higher quality of life and keeps developing their mind? What do children love to participate in at school that lets their mind develop and enjoy their time all in one? Recess. Recess and play time is a key component for children that it has been put into the daily routine of many elementary schools in the country.

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that children should be participating in at the very least sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day. They directly said, “Recess is a necessary break in the day for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. ” Which has made many parents wonder just how important is physical activity in their children’s daily lives and what are the benefits? Play has been prevalent as a way to combat physical health and mental health. For a very long time this was seen to be the only areas that it affected positively. Recently, however it has been found that physical health helps you learn more and keeps the cognitive function in your brain stronger. Harvard Health found that, “In old age, physical activity may delay the slide of cognitive decline into dementia, and even once that process has started, exercise can improve certain aspects of thinking. ” The National Institute on Aging found that by playing or moving in any sort of fashion including household activities that the elderly when participating in physical activity can,”maintain old network connections and make new ones that are vital to cognitive health. ” Their other studies that they have looked at told them that movement will make the size of the brain structure larger which has the effects of better memory. These studies also found that not all exercise is as beneficial as others.

Aerobic exercise is thought to have more of a positive effect when it comes to cognitive ability than non-aerobic activity, however the studies are so early in this area that is not concrete. How children are affected by play is another area that has been looked at. It has been shown that children that play especially in nature have better cognitive abilities. Their brains develop more fully. Especially when it comes to creative ability playing outside has had many positive effects and students that go and play outside have higher test scores. This is partly because playing games teaches and develops new ways to think. Dr. Sylvia Rim notes that playing sports help children be able to develop confidence in their everyday lives and helps them to focus more in school. Participating in physical activities leads to being in better shape which creates high brain activity and helps children who have a tough time focusing to focus more at school. The dopamine from participating in physical activity increases in their brain which makes them happier and will also help them have a more positive outlook on their schoolwork and will make them want to learn more. The research that has done by various studies of the effects of partaking in play and physical activity that brings enjoyment has been numerous. The studies that have gone over this have come to many different conclusions.

The conclusions have shown that physical play and health will help people live healthier lives and keep them at less risk of heart disease. They will also be able to function better in their daily lives. The results also came back that it can help fight mental illnesses by connecting the nerve cells in the brain and letting the brain become larger so that it may not face these mental illnesses. It was also shown that people’s overall cognitive ability that incorporated physical activity into their daily routine improved and you had a better memory in your brain. The positive benefits of play have been studied deeply and will be looked at as a way to help people’s lives moving forward it seems as the positive benefits keep pouring out from the research’s results.

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