Health and Exercise – Why Exercise Is Good For You

Getting plenty of exercise makes you look and feel better, helps you keep off weight and keeps you healthier longer. It reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. It strengthens bones, improves your mood and boosts energy levels. It also lowers your chances of depression, anxiety and stress, while improving sleep quality and cognitive function.

Even if you have arthritis, fibromyalgia or another condition that causes pain, it’s important to do what you can to stay active. Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Ask about ways to manage your pain, and consider dividing your workouts into shorter, more frequent sessions or exercising in water to lessen any joint or muscle discomfort.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 engage in moderate (brisk walking, water aerobics, biking at 10 mph or faster) or vigorous physical activity (running, swimming or cycling at 80% of their maximum heart rate) for about two hours and 30 minutes per week. The more you exercise, the greater the benefits, according to the new guidelines.

Aerobic exercise — the kind that gets your heart rate up and causes you to breathe heavily — helps improve your cardiovascular system’s efficiency, which can help prevent stroke, coronary artery disease and hypertension. It also increases bone density and lowers your risk of developing diabetes and some cancers. Other types of exercise help strengthen muscles and bones, such as resistance training, yoga and tai chi.

If you are concerned about the risk of injury, talk to your doctor or a certified personal trainer before you begin. They can help you find activities that are appropriate for your age, fitness level and health conditions, and they can teach you how to safely perform each activity.

In addition to the overall health benefits of regular exercise, research suggests that it can boost your self-esteem and mood, improve your sleep quality and help you get along with others. Those who exercise regularly have a lower risk of stress, clinical depression and dementia.

It’s no secret that being physically inactive shortens your life span. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with more than 30 chronic diseases and a shorter lifespan. But if you want to live a long, fulfilling and productive life, it’s time to get moving! Hälsa och träning

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