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Top 8 reasons to start exercising today

Apart from weight loss, regular exercising improves brain power, heart function along with rendering other health benefits.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : September 8, 2014 4:14 PM IST

Health benefits of exerciseDo you exercise regularly or live an inactive life? We live in a culture where a sedentary lifestyle has increasingly gained popularity, predisposing us to many health complications. This said, what is good about physical inactivity is that it is a modifiable risk factor of various chronic diseases and conditions. Several studies have proved that exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your physical as well as mental performance in addition to providing various health benefits. [1,2] Here are top 8 health benefits of regular exercising

Good for heart

Aerobic exercise not only makes your heart healthier and stronger by enhancing the blood flow, but it also reduces the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise lowers bad cholesterol (LDL Low density lipoprotein), increases good cholesterol (HDL High density lipoprotein), helps in maintaining normal blood pressure levels and burns excess calories. To maintain a healthy heart, indulge in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week.

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Boosts your libido

Exercise improves blood flow to your genitals and hence, ensures that you last longer in bed. Studies have shown that increased physical activity in men above 40 years of age is directly related to better sexual activity and long-term effects on erectile function. Read about exercises that will make you a better lover!

Lowers blood sugar levels

Diabetics are recommended to exercise (aerobic or stretching) for 30 minutes for 5 days a week in order to reduce their risk of various health complications associated with diabetes. Regular physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, regulates blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of diabetes.

Helps to lose weight

Indulging in any physical activity like swimming, aerobic exercises, running and sports burns excess calories and fats. Not only obese and overweight individuals should involve themselves in a daily exercise regime, but thin and normal weight people can perform exercises to stay fit and healthy. Read about fun ways to lose weight

Protects against cancer

Regular physical activity is found to reduce your risk of developing site-specific cancers such as colon and breast cancer. Additionally, exercising daily is found to help cancer survivors cope with the treatment process, extend survival, lowers the risk of cancer recurrence and improve their quality of life.

Helps to quit smoking

People who are depressed and those dealing with mood disorders generally reach out for a cigarette, but with little exercise or some kind of physical activity or sport, it is possible to kick the butt. Exercise releases chemicals that exert a positive effect on the brain and reduces your compulsion to smoke.

Enhances brain function

An active lifestyle not only exerts positive effects on physical well-being, but also improves your mental health. With 20 minutes of exercising thrice a week, one can significantly reduce their risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Regular physical activity ensures a proper supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, thereby improving memory, intelligence, and attention along with relieving stress and depression.

Great for bone health

Lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons for early degeneration of bone cartilage and muscles. Hence, it is recommended that people should indulge in some kind of physical activities like aerobics, walking or cycling in order to improve bone density and lower their risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.

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  2. Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006 Mar 14;174(6):801-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 16534088; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1402378.
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