Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with exercising and being healthy. They spend an estimated $36.6 billion on gyms and fitness clubs, and they spend an additional $11.3 billion on home fitness equipment. With these numbers in mind, you’d think Americans would be fit and healthy. Well, not so much.
That’s where the hate part of the relationship comes in. Unfortunately, 42.4% of Americans are battling obesity. And to add insult to injury, many Americans are still working to lose the weight they gained during the pandemic.
If you don’t exercise much, you should know that getting and staying active can help much more than your waistline. In this blog, our providers at Generations Family Practice in Cary and Raleigh, North Carolina, explain the many benefits of exercising.
Exercise and overall health
Most of us know that eating well and exercising can help us stay fit. But that’s not all they can do. According to research, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a heart healthy diet, and not smoking can reduce the chances of death from all causes by 80%.
Here are some more amazing benefits of exercising:
Reduce the heart's workload
One of the top benefits of exercising is that it can help you maintain an ideal weight. And, while not being overweight is a benefit in and of itself, maintaining a healthy weight will mean your heart won’t have to work extra hard to pump blood to the organs and tissues throughout your body.
Lower blood pressure
Being overweight can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout the body, lead to blocked or narrowed arteries, and lead to life-threatening medical conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. However, with regular exercise, you can reduce your blood pressure, which, in turn, can reduce your chances of developing these conditions.
Reduce the risk of developing diabetes
Exercising and staying active can also help the body metabolize sugar better, which can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. In fact, taking up certain exercises, such as swimming, walking briskly, or cycling, can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by more than 50%. If you already have diabetes, exercising regularly may help you keep it under control.
Remarkably, the benefits of exercising don’t stop with the physical benefits. According to one study, engaging in high intensity exercise — such as running — for 15 minutes a day, or engaging in low intensity exercise — such as doing housework — for an hour, can help boost mood.
Assist in quitting smoking
And, as if the other benefits of exercising weren’t enough, exercising can help people quit smoking. Research indicates that even small periods of activity and exercise can help people battle withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine. Furthermore, the effects can last up to 50 minutes after exercising.
If you’re ready to start your journey to better health, book an appointment online or over the phone with Generations Family Practice today. Our team will work with you to create a program that fits your needs and goals, and we’ll help you every step of the way.