It is no secret that leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the unhealthiest things that a person can do for their body. In fact, research has shown that not getting enough exercise is one of the leading risk factors for premature death. This is because exercise has so many important benefits for our health, including reducing our risk of chronic diseases, improving our mental health and mood, and helping us to live longer.
The benefits of exercise are so important that even small amounts of it can have a big impact on our health. For example, research has shown that getting just 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as a brisk walk) every day can reduce your risk of dying prematurely by up to one third. And if you can manage to get in an hour of exercise a day, you can reduce your risk of premature death by up to two thirds.
So, what exactly are the benefits of exercise that make it so important for our health? Let’s take a look.
1. Exercise Reduces Your Risk of chronic diseases
One of the most important benefits of exercise is that it reduces your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancer.
For example, research has shown that people who are physically active have up to a 50% lower risk of developing heart disease than people who are inactive. Exercise also helps to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Similarly, exercise can also reduce your risk of stroke by up to 27%. And if you already have diabetes, exercise can help to improve your blood sugar control and reduce your risk of developing complications such as heart disease and kidney disease.
In addition, exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of various types of cancer, including colon cancer, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. For example, research has shown that people who are physically active have a 24% lower risk of developing colon cancer than people who are inactive.
2. Exercise Improves Your Mental Health and Mood
In addition to reducing your risk of chronic diseases, exercise also has a number of benefits for your mental health. For example, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can even help to improve your mood.
In fact, research has shown that people who exercise regularly have up to a 30% lower risk of developing depression than people who are inactive. Exercise can also help to improve your sleep quality, which is another important factor in maintaining good mental health.
In addition to its benefits for mental health, exercise can also help to improve your energy levels and overall sense of well-being. This is because exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that have a mood-boosting effect.
3. Exercise Helps You to Live Longer
One of the most important benefits of exercise is that it can help you to live longer. In fact, research has shown that people who are physically active have a 20% lower risk of dying prematurely than people who are inactive.
This is because exercise helps to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, exercise has also been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of falls in older adults, both of which can help to reduce the risk of premature death.
So, there you have it: the top three reasons why exercise is so important for your health. If you’re not already exercising regularly, now is the time to start. Just remember to consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.