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Why Does Regular Aerobic Exercise Do Your Body Good?

There’s no question that regular aerobic exercise can do wonders for your health. Aerobic exercise (such as jogging, swimming and cycling) is vigorous and essential to a healthy lifestyle. 

The health benefits you get by exercising regularly include:

  1. Lower risk for heart disease
  2. Lower risk for diabetes
  3. Lower risk for depression
  4. Better weight management
  5. Better cognitive function 

Let’s take a closer look at how aerobic exercise can get you on the road to a healthier you. 

Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

There are lots of studies highlighting the benefits of physical activity. One of the biggest benefits you’ll get is a decrease in your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, one study found that people who aren’t in shape can double their risk of heart disease.

You can also prevent heart disease. Exercising lowers your blood pressure and allows your blood vessels to be more compliant - –meaning less stiff and less likely to accumulate fat and clog vessels. Similar studies always seem to find similar results.

Weight Management and Diabetes

Aerobic exercise can also help you shed unwanted pounds and balance your blood sugar. Both of which are beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.

Aerobic Exercise Reduces Depression

Many studies show that participation in a program of strenuous aerobic exercise is effective in reducing depression.

A Cochrane review of exercise in depression found 39 trials of exercise in 2,326 people with depression. Overall, exercise was beneficial for depression compared with no treatment or other control intervention.

Another study found that running or biking for about 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days per week for 12 weeks reduced depression. 

Aerobic Exercise Improves Brain Function

There’s other research that shows regular aerobic exercise improves brain function. This includes a study that found a 12-week aerobic exercise program improved executive function and attention speed in healthy late- to middle-aged adults. 

Additional Benefits

According to research, you can cut your colon cancer risk by as much as 40 percent by exercising. And heart-healthy activity may boost bone density, or at the very least reduce its loss, in both men and women.

When compared to sedentary women, physically active women have a 20%-30% lower risk of breast cancer. 

There is also some encouraging news for cancer patients. Regular exercise may reduce tiredness, sadness and anxiety.

Take Charge of Your Health

Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine, but it doesn’t take much to get moving. The hardest part is committing to a plan and sticking with it.

And for more information on the updated physical activity guidelines for Americans, check out the “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.”  Inside you’ll find more ways to ease yourself into an exercise routine and how hard you should be working out to see results.

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