Whether it’s for your own personal goals or just looking for a lifestyle change, there’s no doubt that exercise has a lot of health benefits. This is why many say exercise is the best medicine. Are you worried about heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, or do you ever feel tired and out of energy? Getting physically active can change all of that and so much more! Getting active and getting exercise can also help you take control of your weight, and by following a good healthy diet as well, it will completely change your life for the better. Many people don’t realize exercise can also help with mental health issues as well as physical difficulties such as arthritis and back pain.

In case you’re not totally convinced, here are additional points to consider:

  • In the United States, heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death. Research shows that getting at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week can put you at a lower risk for these diseases (CDC, 2018). Going beyond that will also help with lowering your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Exercising regularly will also reduce your risk of some cancers. Being physically active lowers your risk for colon cancer and breast cancer (CDC, 2018). People who are physically active on a regular basis have a lower risk of these cancers than those who are not active.
  • When it comes to depression, anxiety, or other health issues doctors will often advise their patients to get active or do some sort of physical exercise. Regular physical activity can help your thinking, learning, and judgment skills as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial (CDC, 2018).

Most of us know how important it is for our health and how our lives will benefit if we begin exercising, so why don’t more people do it? Maybe it’s just getting started that’s the difficult part. Starting with simple exercises like a moderate pace walk is a great way start.  Of course, consulting a doctor before doing any type of training or exercise is necessary. Another great way to get started is downloading a fitness app to help track everything that you eat and log all exercises for the day. Probably the easiest way to start (if it’s in your budget) is hiring a personal trainer as they can guide you to your health goals. For those on a budget, you can look into gyms or even on apps like MeetUp for low-cost group fitness classes. By taking some small steps, you can start changing your lifestyle and live a life full of energy!

There’s no doubt exercise has many benefits, not just for physical health but also for mental health. The great thing about exercise is that anyone at any age start, even if it’s just a brisk walk (CDC, 2018).  Finally, if you have any questions or concerns about your health please call your primary care physician.

Center for Disease Control (2018) Health and Fitness. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm