Steriani Elavsky: Physical activity is the key to healthy aging

Steriani Elavsky is an associate professor at the University of Ostrava who has spent years researching the benefits that physical movement has on our mental and physical wellbeing. Steriani spent 17 years at the University of Illinois and Pennsylvania State University before continuing her research at the University of Ostrava and is now considered one of the leading Czech specialists in this field. So when she made time for Radio Prague International I began by asking her to enumerate the benefits we get from regular exercise.

“Exercise or physical activity has numerous beneficial effects –it increases our heart rate, breathing rate and as a result of that we produce certain chemicals, neuro-transmitters like serotonin and dopamine that effect our mood. There is a whole array of physiological benefits which are responsible for the fact that we feel well after exercising. We have an elated mood due to the fact that our body has started producing some chemicals in our brain. Among the many psychological benefits that exercising gives us is a new level of confidence, or perceived competence about what we can do; we have a more positive attitude about ourselves and how we view our bodies, which in turn can increase our sense of self-worth and self-esteem and that can also contribute to feeling better and having a better quality of life.”

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Author: Daniela Lazarová