Friday, January 25, 2008

Healthy Habit No. 5: Exercise for Better Health

We already know that physical activity has a bounty of benefits, which makes it so puzzling why so many people just don't do it. According to the CDC, more than 60% of Americans do not get regular exercise.

In case you needed an incentive, here is a review of the advantages of exercise, per the National Cancer Institute:

* Helps control weight
* Maintains healthy bones, muscles, and joints
* Reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes
* Promotes psychological well-being
* Reduces risk of death from heart disease
* Reduces risk of premature death

Studies have also shown a link between exercise and a reduced risk of certain cancers.

Besides its long-term effects, moving your body has immediate benefits, says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. The short-term results of exercise include helping people to think and move better, manage stress, improve mood, and get an energy boost.

The excuses that people often give to not exercise are the precise reasons to exercise, says Bryant. People who say they are too tired or don't have time to workout don't realize that exercise gives people more energy and allows them to be more productive with the rest of their time.


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