Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It plays a key role in preventing
many medical disorders and health conditions.
You cannot control the risks for medical disorders passed on by your family — like
your risk for high blood pressure — but you can control your activities, diet and
smoking habits. Exercise is a lifestyle choice that can help improve your overall
Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in the U.S. Regular exercise
reduces your risk for these conditions by strengthening your heart and improving
your blood flow. This results in lowering your blood pressure and improving your
Exercise helps to control your weight and prevent obesity. Being overweight puts
you at risk for many medical conditions, notably noninsulin-dependent diabetes and
high blood pressure. Because it increases the load on your joints, obesity can aggravate
bone and joint conditions, such as back pain and knee problems. Regular exercise
can improve the symptoms of these conditions by increasing muscle strength and flexibility,
and reducing body fat.
Exercise is well known for its mood-lifting effects. Studies have also found that
people who exercise are less likely to be depressed or feel anxious. Plus exercise
can help you manage stress, feel less agitated and improve your sleep patterns.
The physical benefits of regular exercise often create psychological benefits. Being
stronger and more flexible helps us to do all the activities we would like to. And
this results in feeling better about ourselves and our lives.