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What are the benefits of regular exercise?

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

After several months of regular exercise, you will definitely be noticing changes in your body. Exercises will seem easier, your clothes will fit differently and you will have more stamina for daily activity. You may notice, however, that while you were caring for your body, your brain is thinking more clearly, you are solving problems more easily (probably during your aerobic workouts) and you will feel the bliss of accomplishment.

Regular exercise has amazing benefits. Remember that structured exercise is not the only way to achieve physical fitness: routine tasks count as physical activity too. Physical activity:

  • Helps you live longer and prevents many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) profile, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon and breast cancers;
  • Improves cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; 
  • Raises your metabolism and helps you lose weight more easily (or eat more without gaining weight);
  • Helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve your mood;
  • Helps maintain brain function in older adults;
  • Helps with digestion and promotes regular bowel movements;
  • Increases bone density;
  • Helps you age more gracefully by maintaining your looks and your agility;
  • Improves sleep quality; and
  • Improves your overall quality of life.

Remember to talk with your physician before beginning—or making substantial changes to—an exercise program. Your physician can help you select appropriate exercises based on your medical history, current fitness level, and physical fitness goals.

Unless you have a pre existing medical condition that your doctor has said prevents you from exercising then yes absolutely. The health benefits of regular physical activity are broad and numerous. Regular moderate exercise can dramatically improve your health and dramatically reduce your risk of developing many diseases over the course of your lifetime. Studies show that regardless of gender and ethnicity and body mass index (BMI) that people who engage in regular moderate physical activity live longer, have lower rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis, Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength), and loss of mobility.  

Studies have routinely shown that regular exercise slows the aging process by increasing production of testosterone and growth hormone, people who exercise regularly sleep better and longer, have a greater sense of well being, better mood, are less prone to depression. Regular exercise is probably the single most beneficial thing a person can do to improve their health and decrease their risk of developing disease over their lifetime. The more exercise a person gets the greater the benefits.

If you can overcome the obstacles that leave your activewear gathering dust, regular physical activity provides an impressive array of health benefits, regardless of your size. Thirty minutes of moderate activity each day (or at least 4 or 5 days a week) can help to:

  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Reduce risk of stroke
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduce total and visceral fat
  • Improve cardiovascular function
  • Reduce risk of colon cancer
  • Prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve health outcomes for those with diabetes
  • Reduce risk of depression, elevate mood
  • Support restful sleep
  • Reduce tension and increase energy

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Pamela Fortner, NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Exercise increases the blood flow to working muscles, increases your energy level, can lower blood pressure, lower your resting heart rate, improves your self image, and boosts your self confidence. Exercise also promotes better sleep, strengthenes your heart and lungs, exercise helps you manage your weight, exercise helps fight chronic diseases like type II diabetes and high blood pressure, exercise improves your mood. Choose an activity you enjoy, get up and move and have fun. The fun factor will keep you motivated, and coming back for more.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.