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Benefits of Physical Activity

You know you need to exercise, but there are many excuses not to do it. You’re too busy, don’t know where to start, you’re not motivated or you’re afraid you’ll injure yourself. Maybe you think exercise has to be really hard or it isn’t good enough.

It’s great if you can spend time exercising—meaning you’re sweating, working in your target heart rate zone, or doing something to strengthen your body. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.2

Whatever definition you have about what exercise is or isn’t, the bottom line is that exercise is movement. Whether it’s walking around the block or running a marathon, that movement is exercise and every time you move more than you normally do, it counts.

Healthy Weight Loss or Maintenance
Even if you opt for small changes, the benefits are still pretty amazing. For example, increasing your activity level can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you are currently overweight, small steps toward that goal can have an impact.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that if you are overweight, reduction of 5 to 10% of your total body weight can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

In fact, you don’t even have to have a goal to lose weight, especially if you have trouble sticking to a program. Why not focus on being healthy to start and not worry about the weight loss because as you move more, you may find that you start losing some additional weight too.

Other Benefits
The great thing about moving is that just a few minutes a day can have other lasting benefits, many of which you may not even be aware of. Just some of the benefits include:2

  • Enhances self-esteem
  • Helps maintain flexibility as you age
  • Improves joint stability
  • Improves memory in elderly people
  • Improves mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Increases and improves range of motion
  • Maintains bone mass
  • Prevents osteoporosis and fractures
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

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