Step right up! It’s the ‘miracle cure’ we’ve all been waiting for. It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a doctor to get some. Its name? Exercise. The benefits of regular exercise are undeniable and key to having a healthy heart. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.1 Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, today is the day you can begin to make healthy changes in your life.
Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. This means there is less pressure on your arteries (the blood vessels that take blood to your major organs), which helps your blood pressure stay at a healthy level. It also boosts your levels of ‘good’ cholesterol (High Density Lipids) which carries away the bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipids) that is responsible for clogging up your arteries. A single exercise session may protect the cardiovascular system for two to three hours after your session is done.2
Physical activity helps you use up the extra glucose (sugar) in your blood faster and improves the body’s ability to use insulin which helps get better control of your diabetes. Even if you do not have this condition, regular physical activity can help lower your type 2 diabetes risk by up to 50%.1
Being overweight or obese can lead to many serious health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Exercise is one of the best ways to achieve a healthy weight and increase lean body mass which is the ultimate metabolic booster and calorie-burner.1
Exercise is the most potent antidepressants available and it’s free! Not only are you taking care of your body when you exercise, but you’re also taking care of your mind by helping to release the ‘feel good’ hormones dopamine and serotonin, also known as endorphins. These endorphins help to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, it helps boosts self-esteem, confidence, sleep quality and energy levels. Studies further shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 30%.3
Research reveals for each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours additional life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age! Those extra years are generally healthier years as staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. In essence, you’re training your heart to be more resilient. Active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.4