Friday, March 25, 2016

The Many Health Benefits of Exercise...

Exercise allows you to play an active role in your health.
     It is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make!

1.  Exercise increases longevity. Physically active people have a lower risk of premature death.

2. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise burns fat and calories, and builds lean muscle and bone density.

3. Exercise lowers your risk for heart disease.  8 out of 10 people with heart disease have one or more risk factors they can change such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. Living a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for heart disease.

4.  Exercise lowers your risk for stroke. 1 out of 4 strokes occur at the age of 65 years or younger. The good news is that 80% of strokes are preventable.

5. Exercise helps regulate your cholesterol. Exercise lowers LDL and triglycerides, or bad fats that build up on artery walls. Exercise raises HDL, or good fats, that collect and carry away bad fats from the bloodstream.

6. Exercise lowers your blood pressure. 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, which usually has no symptoms. Left untreated, it can damage the brain, kidneys, heart and eyes. Regular exercise makes the heart stronger and more efficient.

7. Exercise prevents and controls diabetes. 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. The most common form, Type II, is due to insulin resistance and is most often associated with obesity. Like high blood pressure, high glucose damages artery walls and vital organs. This can be delayed or prevented with exercise and weight loss.

8. Exercise lowers your risk for some cancers and supports the immune system. Physically active individuals have a significantly lower risk of colon cancer. Physically active women have a lower risk of breast cancer. Exercise supports the immune system to help protect us from colds and influenza.

9. Exercise protects your bones. Bone mineral is constantly being removed and replaced. Weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise encourages bones to maintain their density. Exercise also helps improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls.

10. Exercise helps you manage pain symptoms. Exercise improves flexibility, range of motion, posture and strengthens supportive muscles. Exercising releases "feel good' endorphins that reduce the perception of pain.

Exercise improves your emotional well-being. Regular exercise decreases the risk of depression and eases anxiety and stress. It improves quality of sleep and enhances sex life. It promotes social interaction and boosts self-esteem.

12. Exercise helps your memory and thinking ability. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and creates new connections between brain cells. It also lowers your risk of developing dementia.

13. Exercise promotes healthy aging. Physical activity helps you stay independent longer and keeps you doing the things you enjoy.

Exercise, when done safely, is one of the very best things you can do to take care of yourself!