According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world, the health benefits of exercise and regular physical activity are “indisputable”:
“Regular physical activity and exercise are associated with numerous physical and mental health benefits in men and women. All-cause mortality is delayed by regularly engaging in physical activity; this is also the case when an individual increases physical activity by changing from a sedentary lifestyle or a lifestyle with insufficient levels of physical activity to one that achieves recommended physical activity levels. Exercise and physical activity decrease the risk of developing CHD, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer (e.g., colon and breast cancers).
Exercise and physical activity lower blood pressure; improve lipoprotein profile, C-reactive protein, and other CHD biomarkers; enhance insulin sensitivity, and play an important role in weight management. Of particular relevance to older adults, exercise preserves bone mass and reduces the risk of falling. Prevention of and improvement in mild to moderate depressive disorders and anxiety can occur with exercise. A physically active lifestyle enhances feelings of “energy,” well-being, quality of life, and cognitive function and is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia.”
In other words, regular exercise and physical activity have beneficial effects on:
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, especially as we age. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, in most cases, you have more to lose by not being active. According to the NIH, regular exercise and physical activity
Perhaps inspirational and influential fitness author Bill Phillips summed it up best when he said, “Exercise is the most potent, yet underutilized, medicine.” Clearly exercise is incredibly important at any age, and it arguably becomes even more for disease prevention and healthy aging.4 Simply put, exercise is key to healthy aging…. Let’s get started!