FREDERICTON (CUP) — As many people would agree, sports are fun to participate in, as well as to watch. But what a lot of you may not realize is just how beneficial that game of hockey or that soccer match actually is for your health.

Sports of all kinds are an easy and enjoyable way to get in a solid cardio or strength-training workout.

In fact, you will rarely find activities to keep you motivated enough to meet at least the weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or higher aerobic physical activity for people ages 18-65, according to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

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What does this mean for you?

Well, it means 2.5 hours of more or less any activity that involves moving your legs, arms and feet.

This equates to moderate sports such as golfing, badminton or softball or other vigorous activities such as tennis, soccer or swimming.

In terms of physical health, this can easily improve cardiovascular capacity and feelings of fatigue, just to name a couple.

Participating in these types of sports and exercise can play both a therapeutic and a preventative role in the lives of Canadians. Playing higher intensity sports increases the good stress levels on the body and teaches the athletes how to overcome obstacles, as well as how to make decisions when you are drained, which is a key aspect keeping your mind sharp.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health website, meeting these requirements can significantly help preventing issues like heart disease and its precursors, insomnia and arthritis.

Sport and exercise is even used to treat type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancers and even mental health problems — such as depression and anxiety — as they improve mood and alleviate stress.

These improved bodily and mental health standards lead to a much longer, happier and healthy life — which means a more fulfilling life.

Participating in physical activity contributes significantly to weight loss, appearance and image. Improving all of these things allows people struggling with these types of issues and confidence-hindering anxieties the chance to have greater self-esteem. All of this creates an ongoing cycle — the more you exercise the better you feel physically and mentally and the more likely you are to keep it up.

Choosing not to participate in sporting exercise can lead to weight gain, muscle loss and even bone decay, not to mention missing out on some great memories with people sharing a common goal.

Feeling fatigued and heavy all day is hard on your body and mind, and can also lead to fatigue and feeling sick-like symptoms more often during the day, according to the Canadian Health Agency.

So how about next time you reach for the remote, try reaching for your gear and head out for some rewarding and intense workout instead.

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