Benefits to Exercise – Dr. Jerry Hankins’ Blog

Health Benefits Associated with Regular Exercise

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Engaging in physical activity multiple times a week is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Moderate intensity aerobic activity is safe for most people who are looking to increase their level of physical activity. A person who has not exercised in a while should be sure to start slowly, but he or she definitely does not be discouraged from engaging in physical activity or reaping the multitude of health benefits associated with staying active.

Regular physical activity, combined with a healthy diet, can help control a person’s weight.  There has been strong scientific evidence that suggests that 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week can help a person maintain his or her body weight over time.  Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight reduces a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.  Staying active can also reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, a condition that can cause high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar levels. Metabolic syndrome develops when a person has too much fat around his or her waist.

Engaging in routine physical activity also strengthens a persons bones and muscles.  In addition to increasing and maintaining muscle mass, studies have show that aerobic muscle- and bone-strengthening physical activities, when performed at a moderate intensity level, can slow the loss of bone density that is associated with aging.  Engaging in a moderately intense, low impact aerobic form of exercise multiple times a week can also help soothe the symptoms associated with arthritis.

Regular physical activity also has the potential to improve a person’s mood and overall mental health by working to reduce risk of depression and regulate the sleep cycle.  Exercising multiple times a week can also increase a person’s chances of living longer.  Perhaps more importantly, exercising regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle increases a person’s overall quality of life, ensuring that life is not only longer, but more enjoyable as well.

For more information about the benefits of exercising regularly please visit http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/.