9 Benefits of Exercise

Reviewed: May 14, 2013
By eHealthIQ
9 Benefits of Exercise

Most people know that exercise is good for the body. The average person can even list specific benefits that exercise provides, such as weight loss and better heart health. However, engaging in physical activity offers more for than what is commonly touched upon in dieting advertisements and cereal commercials. Exercise benefits not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well. Read on for a list of nine advantages that thirty minutes or more of consistent movement can give.

1. Manage Stress

Stress-related illnesses account for a large number of sick days taken by employees each year. Exercise can help alleviate stress. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), all it takes is a simple stroll around the block or a lively Zumba class to put you in a good mood.

2. Ease or Alleviate Depression Symptoms

Doctors who treat patients for depression also recommend an exercise program as well. Why? Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, hormones that control how good a person feels.

3. Aids Digestion and Gastrointestinal Issues

Exercise increases a body’s ability to burn fat. That jump in metabolism also makes the digestive system work faster and more smoothly, thereby fighting issues such as constipation and indigestion.

4. Helps Prevent Certain Cancers

Cells in the body reproduce and regenerate every day. Toxins in the environment, stress, or poor diet can lead to abnormal changes in cellular activity, increasing the likelihood of developing certain cancers. Exercise helps the body produce new cells and antibodies, which fight harmful free radicals that can lead to cancer.

5. Beat Genetics

You don’t have to stress over getting your mother’s hips or your father’s beer belly. While some people are genetically predisposed to have a stocky body type or slow metabolism, exercise helps prevent fat from excessively accumulating because of these factors.

6. Increase Fertility

Being overweight or obese can cause problems with fertility in both men and women, such as low sperm count or irregular menstruation, respectively. Managing weight through physical activity helps regulate reproductive hormones.

7. Strengthen The Immune System

The body gets sick when its disease-fighting antibodies are unable to fend off germs. Exercise helps the body increase its number of antibodies. It also helps flush out bacteria and cancer-causing cells, according to the National Institute of Health.

8. Fight Premature Aging

Visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles occur when cells die and are slow to regenerate. Exercise helps keep cells functioning, allowing them to produce a optimal turnover rate.

9. Maintain A Healthy Weight

It’s long been established that exercise can lead to successful weight loss, but it also helps keep the weight off. Multiple studies show that people who continue to exercise after reaching their weight loss goals manage to stay slim longer than those who stop working out entirely.

The findings are evident. Exercising, whether it’s to lose weight or to stay healthy, is beneficial for many reasons. Find yours and stick with it.

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