Physical activity can benefit every aspect of health: regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and depression. It also reduces stress, improves sleeping patterns, builds-up bone and muscle strength and helps to control weight. It can have more than physical benefits alone though – evidence shows an important role for leisure time, particularly in men with a low level of positive mental health. If you do more physical activity with others, the evidence shows that you will have more confidence, higher self-esteem, less anxiety, less stress and better social skills – attributes that can help you deal with the challenges faced in daily life. Group activity is also a great opportunity to meet people and have fun – from walking groups right through to vigorous team sports.
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