The Health Benefits of Physical Activity | Oska Wellness

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  • The Health Benefits of Physical Activity

    Physical activity isn’t just a euphemism for exercise - they’re actually two different things. The World Health Organization defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure,” while exercise is a type of physical activity that is “planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful in the sense that the improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness is the objective.” You don’t need to run a mile, climb a mountain, or even set foot in a gym to enjoy the health benefits of physical activity; all you need to do is move your body.

    Improved Sleep Quality

    Physical activity early in the day can lead to better sleep at night. It can help you fall asleep faster and actually deepen your sleep so that you feel more rested when you wake up. Just make sure not to engage in rigorous physical activity too close to bedtime, as it could result in the production of chemicals in your body that energize you and could keep you awake.

    Better Moods

    Physical activity causes your body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that serve a variety of functions in the body, one of which is making you happy. According to the American Psychological Association, physical activity can also have long-term effects on depression. Physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by boosting levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of well-being.

    Higher Productivity

    You can think of this as a chain reaction: when you get more restful sleep and you’re in a more positive mood, you are perfectly positioned to be productive. Engaging in physical activity leads to better focus. You may also find that it makes your creativity flow more freely and you don’t get distracted as easily.

    Lower Risk of Health Conditions

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, physical activity can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers. This is because regular physical activity helps to control levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Physical activity also reduces your risk of physical injury by strengthening your muscles, increasing your endurance, and improving your balance.

    Some quick ideas to help you get moving include a walk around your neighborhood, a leisurely bike ride, or a stretch session at home.  Physical activity comes in many forms and can usually be added into your schedule quite easily.

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Julie, age 50.

Lower back pain

Julie is a registered nurse at the UCSD Medical Center.  She works in the operating room, specializing in abdominal, liver, and kidney transplants.

 Julie primarily wears her Oska Pulse while at work. “There is a lot of heavy lifting every day.  From instrument trays to moving patients around—it takes a toll on my back. I put Oska Pulse on with the strap and keep it around my waist all day at work – even during coffee and lunch breaks.  I also work out every morning, doing cross fit exercises at the gym.  Rowing and weight training for the most part.  Oska Pulse works great for my post-workout recovery.”

 Julie is a Southern California native who is married with two teenage children.  The family lives in Oceanside, which is just a few miles from the beach. “We love being so close to the ocean.  We bring our two dogs to walk along the beach and we go on various hikes.  My Oska Pulse is always with me – at work and play.  The relief I’m getting with Oska Pulse has been amazing.  My lower back thanks you, Oska Wellness!”