10 Quick Reasons to Start Exercising Today
You know you should exercise every day - but have you ever really stopped to think about why? Here are just a few reasons to consider digging those gym shoes out of the closet ... today.
Regular exercise can:
- Strengthen your cardiovascular system by increasing the concentration of “good” cholesterol and reducing the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your blood.1
- Help reduce your risk of high blood pressure – and if you already have high blood pressure, exercise can help lower it.1
- Improve your respiratory system by helping to increase your lung capacity, allowing you to take in greater amounts of oxygen to nourish your cells.1
- Help preserve bone mass and increase bone density, giving you stronger bones and improving your balance and coordination.2
- Burn calories to help you manage your weight. Studies have shown that even if you don’t alter your eating habits, walking for an hour a day can help you lose as much as 10 pounds in six months.3
- Help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes by making the insulin your body produces work better to lower your blood sugar naturally.4
- Activate the brain neurotransmitters associated with avoiding depression. The levels of those neurotransmitters and their balance with each other play a role in how you react to daily events. Exercise helps keep those chemicals in sync.1
- Lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Researchers believe regular exercise may help reduce your chances of developing cancers of the colon, prostate, endometrium and breast.1
- Positively impact the quality of your sleep. Daily moderate exercise can help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.5
- Help you live longer. Studies have shown that people who burn more than 2,000 calories a week by exercising live an average of one to two years longer than people who burn fewer than 500 calories a week.1
1 Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. July 26, 2005.
2 Exercise and osteoporosis: Staying active safely. MayoClinic.com. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Sept. 24, 2004.
3 Walking: Am I Walking Enough to Lose Weight? Walking.about.com. About, Inc., 2006.
4 Diabetes and exercise. www.diabetes.org. American Diabetes Association, 2006.
5 Sports Medicine: Exercising before bed. Sportsmedicine.about.com. About, Inc., 2006.