Health Benefits Of Physical
The benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight management.
Research shows that regular physical activity can help reduce your
risk for several diseases and health conditions and improve your
overall quality of life. Regular physical activity can help
protect you from the following health problems.
- Heart Disease and
Stroke. Daily physical
activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by
strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood
pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL)
levels (good cholesterol) and lowering
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol),
improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working
capacity. Optimizing each of these factors can provide additional benefits of
decreasing the risk for Peripheral
- High Blood
Pressure. Regular physical activity can reduce
blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels.
Physical activity reduces body fat, which is
associated with high blood pressure.
Diabetes. By reducing body fat, physical activity
can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.
- Obesity. Physical
activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving
muscle mass and improving the body's ability to use
calories. When physical activity is combined with proper
nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity,
a major risk factor for many diseases.
- Back Pain. By
increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving
flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent
Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and
may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.
- Self Esteem And Stress Management. Studies on the psychological
effects of exercise have found
that regular physical activity can improve your mood and
the way you feel about yourself. Researchers have
found that exercise is likely to reduce depression and anxiety and help you
to better manage stress.
- Disability. Running and aerobic exercise have been shown to
postpone the development of disability in older adults.
Keep these health benefits in mind when deciding whether
or not to exercise.
Last Editorial Review: 7/8/2004