Thirty Minutes of Exercise a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Exercise is good for you! If you had a dollar for every time you

heard this statement uttered, you’d be rich by now, right? Well,

proponents of everyday physical activity aren’t just blowing smoke

when they repeat this mantra. Medical research has uncovered

resounding evidence to back up this good for you claim. In fact,

the U.S. Surgeon General, the American College of Sports

Medicine (ACSM) and the National Centers for Chronic Disease

Prevention and Health Promotion all recommend the same thing

when it comes to regular exercise: American adults should aim for

30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most,

and preferably all, days of the week.

Inquiring minds want to know, so how exactly will daily exercise

impact your health and well-being? Regular physical activity

positively affects not only your body but also your mind. That’s right:

Exercise simultaneously improves your physical, your emotional

and your psychological health. In fact, it’s a triple-threat combatant

against the physical and mental disorders Americans most often

face: heart disease, diabetes, stroke, stress, anxiety and

depression, just to name a few.

When industry experts stand in staunch agreement, you know it’s

time to focus your attention on their advice and take their

concurring counsel to heart. To that end, consider daily exercise’s

benefits as purported by three of the leading medical sources: the

American Heart Association, the Surgeon General’s Report on

Exercise and Fitness Management magazine.

The American Heart Association (AHA) lists a reduction in the risk

of heart disease at the top of its daily physical activity benefit list.

Exercise improves circulation throughout the body and lowers

cholesterol, thereby decreasing the likelihood of a heart attack or

stroke. The AHA also touts exercise’s ability to counteract the health

problems plaguing today’s young people: obesity, high blood

pressure, high cholesterol and poor lifestyle habits. In so doing, it

prevents the conditions that lead to heart attacks and strokes later

in life.

The U.S. Surgeon General, while echoing the AHA’s claims,

narrows down physical activity’s benefits into specific categories.

Overall, he maintains that exercise reduces one’s risk of dying

prematurely, but explicitly mentions a reduction in heart disease,

diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, depression and

anxiety and obesity among its lifesaving advantages. According to

the U.S. Surgeon General, healthier bones muscles and joints as

well as improved psychological well-being are some of the other

benefits regular exercisers enjoy.

In an article entitled The Psychological Benefits of Your Exercise

Program, Fitness Management magazine further details physical

activity’s favorable effects on emotional and mental health. In

particular, the article cites the following psychological advantages

of exercise: 1) It reduces feelings of anxiety, worry, self-doubt and

uncertainty about the future; 2) It lower stress levels and the

accompanying physical complaints, such as headaches and

muscle tension; 3) It energizes, thereby enhancing one’s mood; 4)

It improves sleep quality; and 5) It improves one’s self-image and –

confidence by keeping weight down and elevating mood.

So, while an apple a day is still sound advice, it seems exercising

every day is the new and improved ticket to keeping the doctor

away.











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