What are the benefits of more intense exercise?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Being moderate—at least in terms of the intensity of an activity—wins you most of the health gains offered by exercise. Switching to vigorous activities offers enhanced benefits, such as greater protection against breast and colon cancers; better control of blood lipids like high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; a marked drop in insulin levels; and, for men, a zippier sex life, since it lessens the likelihood of erectile dysfunction. Pushing yourself harder can bring many enjoyable recreational options into reach. It's a necessity if you're hoping to run a race or triathlon. Plus it can help you burn extra calories—or trim the time you spend exercising if you prefer, since one minute of vigorous exercise equals two minutes of moderate exercise.

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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.