Physical activity can bring you many health
benefits. People who enjoy participating in moderate-intensity or
vigorous-intensity physical activity on a regular basis benefit by lowering
their risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent
(type 2) diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and colon cancer by 30–50%.
Additionally, active people have lower premature death rates than people who are
the least active.
activity can improve health and reduce the risk of premature death in the
- Reduces the risk of developing coronary heart
disease (CHD) and the risk of dying from CHD
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- Reduces the risk of having a second heart
attack in people who have already had one heart attack
- Lowers both total blood cholesterol and
triglycerides and increases high-density lipoproteins (HDL or the "good"
- Lowers the risk of developing high blood
- Helps reduce blood pressure in people who
already have hypertension
- Lowers the risk of developing
non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus
- Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
- Helps people achieve and maintain a healthy
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- Promotes psychological well-being and reduces
feelings of stress
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones,
muscles, and joints
- Helps older adults become stronger and better
able to move about without falling or becoming excessively fatigued
Can a lack of physical activity hurt your
health? Evidence shows that those who are not physically active are definitely
not helping their health, and may likely be hurting it. The closer we look at
the health risks associated with a lack of physical activity, the more
convincing it is that Americans who are not yet regularly physically active
should become active.
How much is enough? See
How much exercise do you need?