Benefits of regular exercise

Getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only does it make you feel better, but it also helps you manage your weight, lowers your risk of a number of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and improves your overall health. It keeps your muscles and bones strong, reduces the risk of injury and improves your mental health and mood.

It’s important to understand that the benefits of exercise depend on how much you do and for how long. You may be able to fit in some workouts on the weekend, but you won’t get the full benefits of exercise unless you regularly do physical activity for at least 150 minutes each week.

Exercise boosts the body’s ability to transport oxygen to your working muscles and to clear waste products. That translates into more energy to do the things you want and need to do. Exercise can also increase your metabolism and help you keep off excess weight if you need to do so.

Studies suggest that people who are physically active have a reduced risk of many common diseases, including heart disease and some cancers. Being physically fit also means that you are more likely to live longer.

If you’re prone to back pain or other chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, exercise can help you manage your symptoms by strengthening your muscles and improving flexibility. Having flexible joints, muscles and tendons can prevent injuries that occur when you lift something heavy or fall. It also makes you less likely to hurt yourself when participating in activities that require balance and coordination.

The skeletal muscle is the body’s largest organ. Contracting muscle cells releases multiple hormones that can affect a wide range of bodily functions, from your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to your bone strength and body fat composition. These hormones also help keep your muscles and tendons healthy and strong, which can reduce the risk of injury.

A recent study showed that people who reported getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day had a 28% lower risk for all-cause mortality than those who didn’t get any physical activity. The same study found that those who got more than 150 minutes of exercise a week had a 38% lower risk for all-cause mortality.

It’s important to find the type of exercise you enjoy and stick with it, even when life gets in the way. That can be as simple as going for a walk with a friend or taking a yoga class. It can also involve joining a group sport like football or karate, which can help you meet new friends. Just try not to let a busy schedule or lack of motivation hold you back from moving your body. You’ll thank yourself later. Start slowly and work up to the recommended amount of exercise. You can do it! -Dr. David Greig, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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