We all know many of the benefits of regular exercise. Regular exercise gives us stronger bones and muscles, a healthier heart, an amped-up immune system, a greater sense of emotional well-being, and even enhances our brain health. These are only a few of the numerous positive benefits.
Yet, even with all these healthy reasons to exercise, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly 80% of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week for aerobic activity and muscle strengthening. Official guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
Just as exercise creates a number of positive effects in the body, a sedentary lifestyle creates negative effects. Lack of exercise affects the heart, lungs, blood sugar levels, joints, bones, muscles, and mood. It may even play into the development of other health conditions such as cancer and mental decline. Not exercising also affects our ability to control our weight. For older adults, a lack of physical activity boosts the risks for falls, broken bones, serious disease and early death.
Despite these negative effects, large numbers of people still do not get regular exercise. The two most common excuses people give for not exercising are: (1) “I am too tired” (2) “I don’t have time.”
Exercising regularly has far too many benefits for us to engage in excuses. It not only helps us live longer, it helps us live better. If you have been procrastinating with your exercise program, start with something small – like taking a walk – and notice how much better you feel.