What’s the one prescription that can lower your risk for 5 major diseases and with NO side effects?
If you guessed exercise, you’re absolutely right. Exercise has the power to keep you from developing high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. In fact, exercise can lower your risk of heart disease as effectively as medications!
It can also help ease arthritis pain, sharpen your memory, trim your waistline, and preserve your independence.
So why isn’t everyone exercising? One of the biggest reasons is not knowing where to start, or finding a program that’s easy to stick with. That’s why Harvard Medical School experts created Starting to Exercise. This guide helps you choose the best, safest workout for you; shows you exactly how to do each move; and even helps you fit the routines into your busy schedule.
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can't do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.