Common health issues that can be positively affected, prevented or controlled by exercise.
People of all ages can improve the quality of their lives and reduce the risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and type 2 diabetes with ongoing participation in moderate physical activity and exercise. Daily exercise will also enhance one’s mental well-being and promote healthy musculoskeletal function throughout life. Although habitual physical activity is an attainable goal on the path to a healthier life, more than half of U.S. adults do not get ≥ 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day at least 5 days per week (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2007a).
A formidable challenge facing many personal fitness trainers (PFTs) and other health and fitness professionals is finding new ways of motivating people to improve their well-being through consistent participation in physical activity and exercise. As indicated, significant health benefits can be obtained by engaging in moderate amounts of physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week (American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] 2006). Fitness programs involving progressively increasing intensities of exercise will elicit even greater cardioprotective benefits (Swain & Franklin 2006). There is a growing understanding of how certain levels of physical activity may positively affect cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory and endocrine function, as well as mental health. This article sums up the evidence on 25 significant benefits linking physical activity to health enhancement. Some of the benefits have been grouped together because of their physiological or metabolic associations.
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