Exercise affects the body positively when done in moderation and gradually increased as all muscles become stronger. Any time you move your body in a sustained, continuous way - such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or dancing - you are using your muscles more than you do when your body is at rest, and that promotes good health. Studies show that light-to-moderate exercise is beneficial for people with heart disease. If you have heart disease or cardiac risk factors, or are recovering from heart surgery or angioplasty, you should follow the medical advice you received from your doctor or in cardiac rehabilitation before changing your exercise program.
Exercise is most effective if is continued consistently. The benefits from exercise are greatest when a person exercises 3 to 6 times per week. Aerobic exercises, like walking, jogging, bicycling, dancing, and swimming, are especially good for your heart because they increase your breathing rate over time to meet increased oxygen demands and help your heart work more efficiently. Other forms of exercise are strength training, such as weight lifting, and stretching, such as yoga, which are also important for overall health.
Among the benefits of exercise are:
• Stamina. Muscles require more blood flow and oxygen during exercise than they do at rest, and trains your heart to work more efficiently.
• Well-being. Your brain releases chemicals called endorphins during exercise that alter your mood by increasing a feeling of well-being.
• Strong bones. Bones benefit from exercise, too. To remain strong and resilient during trips and falls, they must be consistently “loaded” by carrying weight and responding to gentle stresses. Well-designed and moderate weight training is particularly useful for this benefit.
• Flexibility. Your muscles and tendons benefit from stretching. If they are kept limber, you will gain some protection against injury.
• Strength. Your muscles benefit from weight lifting and other exercises that make your body stronger while guarding against muscle wasting as you age.
• Weight control. Exercise makes your body burn more calories and can help reduce cholesterol levels and control diabetes.