Being physically active is one of the most important activities that all Americans can take part in to improve our health. All Americans should be physically active on a regular basis. The benefits of physical activity occur in generally healthy people, people at risk for developing chronic diseases and people with current chronic illness and or disabilities.
What are the benefits of exercise?
Studies have demonstrated the following benefits:
- Lowers risk of early death
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Lowers risk of stroke
- Lowers blood sugars
- Lowers risk of Osteoporosis
- Lowers risk of Depression
- Lowers risk of Colon Cancer
- Lowers risk of Breast Cancer
- Lowers risk of Endometrial Cancer
- Lowers risk of High Blood Pressure
- Lowers risk of high blood cholesterol
- Increases muscle strength and endurance
- Increases self confidence
- Prevents weight gain
- Prevents falls
- Reduces abdominal obesity
- Increases bone density
- Improves quality of sleep
- Treatment for blockages in the leg arteries
- Improves physical appearance
Now, if this were a pill…you’d pay out of pocket for it.
The best thing about exercise is that it doesn’t have to cost anything and it gives you multiple benefits.
Starting an exercise routine
Benefits of adding activity
Adults gain most of their health benefits when they do the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (2 hours and 30 min) each week. Moderate intensity is equivalent to brisk walking and vigorous intensity is equivalent to running or jogging. Adults gain additional and more extensive health and fitness benefits when they complete even more aerobic activities.
- Inactive is no activity beyond baseline activities of daily living. An inactive lifestyle is unhealthy.
- Low activity is activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or the equivalent amount (75 minutes, or 1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity physical activity. Low levels of activity are clearly preferable to an inactive lifestyle.
- Medium activity is 150 minutes to 300 (5 hours) minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week (or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week). In scientific terms, this range is approximately equivalent to 500 to 1,000 metabolic equivalents (MET) minutes a week. Activity at the high end of this range has additional and more extensive health benefits than activity at the low end.
- High activity is more than the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical. Current science does not allow researchers to identify an upper limit of activity above which there are no additional health benefits.
The message is simple. More activity than you are currently doing is beneficial to your health. We get many health benefits both physically and mentally when we exercise. Let’s get Moving!