Benefits of Exercise
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:
Control Your Weight
Looking to get to or stay at a healthy weight? Both diet and physical activity play a critical role in controlling your weight.
Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. But following the Guidelines and getting at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can put you at a lower risk for these diseases.
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Already have type 2 diabetes? Regular physical activity can help control your blood glucose levels.
Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers
Being physically active lowers your risk for two types of cancer: colon and breast.
Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles
As you age, it's important to protect your bones, joints and muscles. Not only do they support your body and help you move, but keeping bones, joints and muscles healthy can help ensure that you're able to do your daily activities and be physically active.
Improve Your Mental Health and Mood
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better.
If you're a physically active middle-aged or older adult, you have a lower risk of functional limitations than people who are inactive. Research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities each week along with moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, can help reduce your risk of falling.
Increase Your Chances of Living Longer
Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.
If you're not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you're afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people.
Everyone can gain the health benefits of physical activity - age, ethnicity, shape or size do not matter. For more information on how regular physical activity can benefit you, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.