Exercise: An Essential Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

The health benefits of regular exercise are numerous. Countless conditions and health problems can be alleviated or reversed by adding exercise to your weekly routine. In this blog entry, you’ll learn a few of the reasons why you should make exercise a cornerstone of your lifestyle.

Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the most notable benefits of exercise is the effect that it has on weight loss and on blood sugar regulation. The percentage of the American population that suffers from obesity and diabetes has been steadily and rapidly climbing in recent years. These two conditions are huge health threats. Exercise, even in small amounts, can help to keep weight off, and reduce the risk of diabetes.

There are two general types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise includes activities such as running and biking, whereas anaerobic exercise involves activities such as weightlifting. Both types of exercise allow the body to better absorb glucose and increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance, obesity, and hypertension are all characteristics of a condition known as metabolic syndrome. This condition can be improved and in some cases reversed by regular exercise.

Exercise can also help to ease depression, reduce the risk of heart disease, and increase the body’s resistance to infections. The risk of cancer incidence is even reduced by regular exercise.

“But I’m Too Busy to Exercise…”

Being busy and having no time to exercise during your busy workweek is no excuse to refrain from exercise all together. Studies have found that the cumulative amount of exercise done during the course of a week is the most important factor in determining if an exercise routine is productive. To achieve positive health effects, you need to accumulate at least 90 minutes of exercise time per-week. Whether those 90 minutes take place just on Saturday and Sunday or are accrued throughout the week makes little difference.

What’s a Good Amount of Exercise?

A good amount of exercise for most people is two aerobic and two anaerobic workouts every week, with each workout lasting around 30 minutes. The amount of exercise done can be gradually increased as your stamina and strength is built up. Even small things, like taking the stairs or adding a few minutes of jumping jacks to your morning routine can add up to an much healthier lifestyle.

Reference: In Motion (A Publication of the AOSSM); John Kelly IV, MD; “Even Just Minimal Exercise Can Make A Big Impact”; Winter 2012;