Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise (exercise of an adequate duration to benefit the heart and lungs), is very beneficial; overall, it can increase one’s longevity and quality of life.
Research shows that exercise can support health in the following ways:*
- Prevents/reduces the effects of many chronic diseases: Exercise can help people prevent diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Helps manage weight: Burning calories is essential to losing extra weight. The best way to burn calories is to find and maintain a regular exercise routine.
- Boosts energy: A better working circulatory system can invigorate a person. Regular exercise increases circulation by getting your heart and lungs to work better.
- Improves mood: Regular exercise helps a person’s body to feel better. When people feel better physically, they tend to feel better emotionally.
- Supports better sleep: Regular exercise can relax a person so that they can fall asleep more easily at night.
If a person has not been exercising regularly for a long time, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before starting a program to determine what exercise regimen would be the most beneficial. One does not need to run marathons to be healthy. In setting exercise goals, 30 minutes a day 5 times per week is a good target to aim for.
With all the good things that exercise promotes, it is time to get off the couch and get moving for a healthier, happier life!
American Heart Association / Guidelines for Physical Activity
Baltimore City Parks and Recreation
Maryland State Education / Physical Education
YMCA of Central Maryland
*Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009. Fitness. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676. Accessed Dec. 21, 2010.